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More than 33,000 Students from 80 Schools Worldwide will Receive 10 Free Books this School Year Through My Very Own Library and Scholastic Book Fairs

My Very Own Library Expands to Serve Students in: Chicago, IL; Kansas City, KS; Milwaukee, WI; Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Wilmington, DE and the Dominican Republic

NEW YORK, NY—November 30, 2016— This school year, more than 33,000 students from schools across six states and the Dominican Republic will be given the opportunity to choose and own 10 new children’s books for free. This venture is made possible by My Very Own Library (MVOL), an international initiative that encourages literacy by offering students in need an opportunity to own their own books. MVOL works in collaboration with Scholastic Book Fairs so kids can choose their own books at a fun school book fair, build home libraries and develop a love of reading.

According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 61% percent of children ages 6–17 from the lowest-income homes say they read for fun mostly in school. To ensure low-income students have access to books at home, the MVOL program allows students to choose the books they want to read for free from their school book fair. By the end of the school year, each child will have 10 brand-new books of their own to create their home library.

Throughout this school year, the My Very Own Library program will support:

  • 2,433 low-income students in 7 public schools in Kansas City, KS with the support of United Way of Greater Kansas City giving away over 24,330 books
  • 26 public schools in Newark, NJ, serving 16,500 students giving away over 165,000 books. (Partner Organization: United Way of Essex and West Hudson)
  • 1 Middle School  & 1 High School at Making Waves Academy in Richmond, CA, serving 780 students giving away over 7,800 books

(Partner Organization: Making Waves Foundation)

  • 4 schools in Chicago, Illinois, serving 1,250 students giving away over 12,500 books.

(Partner Organization: University of Chicago Charter Schools)

  • 14 schools across the state of Wilmington, Delaware, serving 5,900 students giving away over 59,000 books

(Partner Organization: United Way of Delaware)

  • 14 public schools in Milwaukee, WI, serving 4,500 students giving away over 45,000 books

(Partner Organization: United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County)

  • 11 schools in the Dominican Republic, serving 2,000 students giving away over 25,000 books (Partner Organization: Dream Project)

Also included in the MVOL program are school visits by award-winning children’s book authors. During author visits, more than 100 copies of each author’s book are personally autographed and given to participating students. Additionally, each school also receives $1,000 in grant funding to host three family literacy events that coincide with each book fair event.

Founded in 2011 by the late Anne Feeley (1954-2012), My Very Own Library was first implemented in Newark, NJ, and has expanded year after year. To date, My Very Own Library has provided more than 1.2 million books to students in Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Chicago, IL; Wilmington, DE; Milwaukee, WI; and the Dominican Republic. By summer 2017, My Very Own Library will have provided nearly 1.6 million books to students across all seven locations it will serve.

“At Scholastic we know that the right book can open a world of greater understanding, self-motivation, and joy for students,” said Alan Boyko, President of Scholastic Book Fairs. “By working with My Very Own Library and their partner organizations, Scholastic is able to reach more children, many who may never have owned their own books, and help them discover the power and joy of reading.”

“Ten free books that students select and take home; award winning author visits; family literacy events; and strong community partnerships make up the My Very Own Library program,” said Shannon Boehmer, Project Director, My Very Own Library. “As we continue to expand My Very Own Library year after year, we are forever grateful to the Family & Friends of Anne Feeley, Scholastic Book Fairs, and the support and leadership from the seven non-profit partners who work tirelessly to ensure that these important program elements are successfully implemented in the schools they support.”

“Out of all the books I have read, my favorite would have to be The Hunger Games. Without My Very Own Library, I don’t think I would know about the Hunger Games series or be at an 11th grade reading level,” said Rosangela Mora, an eighth grade student at Abington Avenue School in Newark, NJ. “It is an honor to have this program here at Abington.”

For more information on My Very Own Library, or for details on making a donation, please visit www.myveryownlibrary.org


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