Why are our literacy partnerships with organizations like Classroom Central and First Book important to us? Because reading on grade level by the end of third grade is the most important predictor of academic success. Studies show that children who are not on track with literacy by that age are four times more likely to drop out of school.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that just 39 percent of Charlotte, North Carolina-area third graders are reading on grade level. Recently, thanks to our literacy partnerships with Classroom Central and First Book, we made free books available to teachers who will distribute them to the children who need them the most. This is our fourth year of supporting the Classroom Central Truck of Books two-day literacy event.
The event offered 40,000 free books for teachers to share with students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and York County, South Carolina. Employees from Domtar and several local businesses volunteered their time at Classroom Central’s Free Store to sort and stack the books provided by Domtar. During the event, more than 200 teachers shopped for free books for their students.
“This is one of my favorite events all year,” says Heather Stowe, Domtar’s corporate social responsibility manager. “It is a lot of hard work, but we know that these books will end up in the hands of students who truly need them and that they will be cherished.”
Katherine Stallings, literacy teacher from Performance Learning Center high school in Charlotte, was excited about the opportunity to bring hundreds of books back to her students. “A lot of our students might not have extra money to go out and buy nice new books, or they may not have transportation,” she says. “I’m so happy that this event allows me to bring new books directly to them at school. Another great benefit is that they share these books with younger siblings or friends, and the younger kids get sparkles in their eyes when they see the new books and start to understand that learning can be fun.”
Powerful Pages Program Enables Literacy Partnerships
Through our Powerful Pages program, we work with organizations and schools across North America to promote literacy and equip students for learning. We are committed to improving literacy and supporting educational initiatives that put books and other school supplies into the hands of kids who need them. We hope to alleviate some of the financial stress for teachers, students and families.
In January, which is National Book Month, we will partner again with Classroom Central for a community-wide book drive. We’ll help distribute donated books to educators to help improve reading success in their classrooms. Learn how you can participate in this book drive, scheduled for January 21–31.
“The majority of children in the schools we serve have very few, if any, books at home,” says Greg Meitus, Classroom Central’s director of marketing and communications. “Providing free books to local teachers helps them build their classroom libraries, and it allows them to send books home with their students. Providing access to books for local children is one way that we can all support literacy efforts in our community.”
Find out more about this event and how it helps the community: