HELENA — We at the Montana Television Network and Scripps believe in promoting child literacy, so each year we hold the “If You Give a Child a Book” Campaign, in an effort to raise money to buy brand new books which are then distributed to areas of need within communities of our television stations.
The purpose is to build an at-home library and for students to have the opportunity to pick which books they want to read. Students will pick ten age-appropriate books.
This year, MTN has chosen Broadwater Elementary School in Helena as the Title I school receiver in Helena. Students in kindergarten through third grade will have the opportunity to select ten books.
Principal Kelli Boedecker says, "We want them to be successful today and tomorrow, and 10-years from now."
Getting books in the hands of young students is critical. Scholastic's Kids and Family Reading Report says only 35 percent of nine-year-olds report reading five to seven days a week, compared to 57 percent of eight-year-olds.
For Boedecker, she says she sees the trend of students using their tablets or other electronic devices to read but says nothing beats the feeling of a book in your hands.
"I love to crack open a book; I like that feeling of the spine opening and the smell of pages, so that's me, but something tangible in their hands that they can actually flip the page. Has that feeling of accomplishment its a lot different from flipping a page than it is to scroll," she said.
Nationally, “If You Give a Child a Book” has given out half a million books with over 90 million reading minutes since the program's start.
Here in Helena, the community and the Montana Television Network employees raised over $9,600 that went toward benefiting Bryant Elementary School students.
More information about how to make a donation can be found here.