As Scholastic’s tag line notes, “Something special happens when a child finds the right book.” For too long, many of the children in the Freehold Borough School District were not able to access any books of their own at all, let alone the “right book.”
In 2013, the Foundation established a program to counter this inequity: Book Bucks. Each 2nd and 3rd grader in the district is provided with a $10 voucher to purchase up to two books at the annual PTO/Scholastic Book Fair held in their schools.
We learned a majority of the young students did not participate in the book fair because their families did not have the resources for them to do so. Thus, children whose families were able to send in money for book purchases attended the book fair, while children without remained in the classroom.
More than 70% of the students in our district are eligible for free or reduced lunch, an indication of their limited financial status. Additionally, more than 70% of our students are Latino with immigrant parents – making it even more important for them to have books to develop competency in the English language.
The objectives of the program are to: