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Literacy Nonprofit Marks Major Milestone at Concord International Elementary

Summary: Page Ahead has distributed its 4-millionth book to Concord International Elementary in June.  

A woman holds up a bag of books for students to select in a school auditorium

Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, the leading provider of books and literacy services for children in need in Washington, celebrated a major milestone. The organization distributed its 4-millionth book to Concord International Elementary on June 3.  

Page Ahead has given books to children since 1990, helping to build home libraries and reading skills for students of color furthest from educational justice. The celebration at Concord combined the distribution of the students’ selected books with a presentation of a ceremonial 4-millionth book to the Concord community – “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold with illustrations by Suzanne Kaufman.  

“More than 30 years ago, in Seattle, a team of volunteers organized to give new books to children who needed them most,” said Susan Dibble, the executive director of Page Ahead. “It’s so fitting to celebrate this incredible milestone at Concord International, who has been our long-time partner to put books in kids’ hands – books that are as diverse as the students we serve.” 

Two adults stand in front of a group of children in a school auditorium

Concord participates in Page Ahead’s Book Up Summer, a book fair-based summer reading program that lets kindergarten through second grade students select 12 books each at no cost.

Reading over the summer is important to prevent reading loss. Every student in Seattle Public Schools is a Super Reader, and summer is a good time to practice and build reading skills like learning new words, understanding what is read, and reading smoothly. Research shows that daily reading, just 20 minutes per day, helps prepare students for success.   

As part of its strategic plan, SPS prioritizes supplying students at the 13 Early Literacy Priority schools with 12 books for children in grades K-2 and six books for students in grades 3-5 to read over the summer.

A student reads a book in a school auditorium

Students select their summer books fair style and take them home as the school year wraps up to help build their confidence in reading. If students finish their books quickly, some SPS libraries will be open during the summer. Check your school’s website to see if your school library will be open. 

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