Book Blast fosters love of reading

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

By  Amy Lewis

Special to The Selma Times-Journal

The Selma City Schools’ Book Blast Campaign is creating excitement at local elementary schools and fostering a love of reading for the next generation. 

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The campaign, which runs through Oct. 6, is on a mission to get at least one free, age-appropriate book into the hands of each student.

Operating under the simple idea that every student deserves access to books, the campaign promotes the idea that reading can be educational and fun.

Krystal Dozier, media specialist at Edgewood Elementary School, revealed that studies show children without books at home suffer learning loss while school is out.

“Students these days have more access to technology than they do books, but with a book, kids can travel anywhere and do anything,” Dozier said.

A social media post released by the school district explained the basics of the campaign.

Students send out invitations to family and friends who can click on a link to contribute to the student’s personal page. Contributions help students reach their personal goal of earning ten books from their grade level list. 

Dozier also noted that initially 100% of these donations will go to that student’s goal.

“Every $10 contributed equals one new book for that student and any additional contributions will be added to a pot that will help other students needing books, ensuring that every student will at least get one book,” Dozier said.

Nichole Long, librarian at Payne Elementary said, “This contest encourages students to celebrate books and reading at home.”

Long explained that every student who completes the treasure map wins a prize from the treasure chest. As the students reach various milestones, they are rewarded with prizes like party lights and glow blankets. 

The grand prize, awarded later in the week, is a brand-new iPad. But it’s not just the students who have the chance to win big. 

Educators also have the opportunity to receive up to $200 towards books and essential supplies for their classrooms. The supplies will ensure that educators have the tools needed to teach and inspire new students for years to come.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the amount of reading done outside of school hours has consistently been found to relate to a student’s comprehension, verbal fluency and growth in vocabulary. Students who read independently not only become better readers but score higher on achievement tests in all subjects.

Though the campaign draws to a close Friday, it’s not too late to get involved. Individuals who wish to help Selma students take home more books can contribute directly at: bit.ly/SelmaCitySchools.