For the third year, hundreds of kindergarten and first grade students in Gardner will end the school year with fun summertime reading to take home, thanks to a donation of over 1,300 books from a group of Mount Wachusett Community College students.
Otaku United, a club that celebrates Asian culture, donated over 1,300 books to Waterford Street School, Coleman Street School, Elm Street School, and the Garrison Center. The books were purchased with nearly $2,000 that was raised in April through a silent auction of a wide range of gift cards and items donated to the club to support the cause.
The age-appropriate books were purchased through the Scholastic Reading Club. Each kindergarten and first grade student at Waterford received two books to take home.
This is an incredibly important time to encourage reading, said Waterford Street School Principal Dan Hill, explaining that it’s important to maintain reading momentum through the summer. The donated books will augment the district’s summer reading challenge program, Hill said.
“Reading is very important,” said Hill. “The kids are very excited. We are very much pushing early literacy.”
MWCC Early Childhood Education major Andrea Bartlett who was also the auction coordinator, said the club appreciated the support it received from MWCC faculty, staff and students during the auction that took place on campus.
“It’s very important for children to have access to books and have them in the home,” said Bartlett, adding that she had high hopes for next year’s book drive.