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Access to books predicts children's success

Tucson, Arizona (KGUN) — Each month, KGUN 9 spotlights one charity and introduces a giving project — Doing Well, by Doing Good.

This month, at KGUN 9, we cover causes close to our hearts. The Scripps Howard Fund is the philanthropic arm of our parent company, EW Scripps, and its “If You Give a Child a Book” campaign helps mobilize the community around it. Literacy in childhood.

“We want to prepare our children for success in school and beyond.”

~ Meredith Delaney, Director of Philanthropic Strategy, Scripps Howard Fund

Meredith Delaney is Director of Philanthropic Strategy for the Scripps Howard Fund. She helps lead our efforts to give books to children, not just at KGUN 9, but at all Scripps stations across the country.

“In fact, the number of books in a child’s home is one of the biggest predictors of a child’s success,” says Delaney.

That’s why Scripps created the “If You Give Your Child a Book” campaign.

They identified gaps in the literacy program. A literacy program usually ends when a child enters kindergarten.

“Just because you’re in school doesn’t mean you still have access to books when you’re home,” Delaney said.

Scripps found that children who didn’t read at grade level by third grade were four times less likely to graduate from high school than their peers.

That’s where “If you give a book to a child” comes into play.

Now in its seventh year, the annual campaign begins with Scripps Station employees, each asking for a donation to the cause.

And from September, we will solicit donations from viewers.

“Five dollars is like giving a child a book in need. The important thing to know here is that one book can make a difference.” says Delaney.

The “If you give a book to a child campaign” is about to reach a big milestone.

At the end of this year’s campaign, Scripps will distribute its 1,000,000th book. This is thanks to our partnership with Scholastic Books.

Scripps hosts a free book fair each year for local elementary school students in low-income communities.

Back in February, KGUN distributed over 2,000 books to students at Harold Steele Elementary School.

“If you introduce yourself to books at a young age, you can make connections that will last a lifetime.”

~ Laura Beccera, Principal of Nash Elementary School

Laura Beccera works as a principal at Nash Elementary School in Amphi School District

Her students will be eligible for our “If You Give A Child A Book” campaign this winter.

“My favorite books are Abuelo and Los Tres Osos,” said Beccera.

It’s an adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She hopes her students will connect to her Scholastic Book as she does.

“I really felt connected and felt like my culture was valued,” Bessera said.

We look forward to your donations to the “If you give a book to a child” campaign.

Pat Paris KGUN 9 anchor and reporter. He graduated from Sabino High School and in 1982 he became the high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he had a part-time job in his KGUN 9 his newsroom.Share story ideas and key issues with Pat via email Or by connecting with Facebook twitterand Instagram.