Page Ahead

Three Spokane-area Elementary schools are among the dozens selected statewide for a reading program that sends kids home for the summer with free books.

Page Ahead, a statewide nonprofit children's literacy program, gives children at lower-income schools the opportunity to take home 12 free books at a fair to read over summer vacation.

The nonprofit says access to these books help students combat "summer learning loss" that low-income students are likely to experience.

This year, K-2 students from Bemiss, Logan and Sunset elementary schools will be able to pick a dozen books to take home with them.

Literacy Learning Coach Kelly Petty at Logan was thrilled about local school districts' partnership with Page Ahead.

“Our school is designated the highest poverty elementary school in Spokane—and as such, our students come to us with significant needs,” Petty said. “The Page Ahead Book Up Summer program gives our students the opportunity to receive 12 books for summer reading—that they get to choose and keep! It makes such a difference for our kids.”

The program explains that the "reading gap" of about three months between low-middle income students is created due to less access to books when school is out.

Page Ahead lets students at schools where 65 percent or more of the population qualifies for free and reduced-price lunch self-select 12 books in Kindergarten, first and second grade; creating an eventual library of at least 36 books at home. Recent data has also shown this improved student's scores on English/Language Arts tests.

The program was based on a University of Tennessee study, and it first piloted the program in 2012 and is now in 77 Washington elementary schools.

Throughout May and June, 15,802 students will receive 189,624 books at Book Up Summer book fairs.