Henrico Schools seeks book donations for middle and high school reading challenge

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When you’re challenging students to read more than a half a million books, you need a lot of reading material. Henrico County Public Schools is asking its middle and high school students to read 30,000 books per school during the 2016-17 school year as part of the “Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum Challenge.” As part of the effort to promote literacy, the school division is requesting donations of new or gently used age-appropriate books and magazines.

“While we are blessed with resources in Henrico, in regard to our literacy focus we believe the more choices that students have, the better,” Superintendent Patrick Kinlaw said.

The school division is seeking books or magazines in English, Spanish and other languages. Items can be dropped off during regular hours at the main office of any HCPS high school or middle school. Suggestions for possible book donations are available for high schools at http://tinyurl.com/book-list-hs-grades and for middle schools at http://tinyurl.com/book-list-ms-grades or by going to hcpslibraries.org. Because the challenge began the first day of school, donations are needed as soon as possible. Collections will continue throughout the school year.

“We want to increase students’ interest in reading, and the public can assist with donations,” said Omega Wilson, the school division’s director of high school education. “Studies show that when kids have more choice, they’re more likely to read and to learn from what they’re reading.”

Donated material will be reviewed by HCPS personnel before being distributed to classrooms.

The challenge is designed to increase reading and writing across the curriculum, in courses ranging from English and history to art and health. Students will electronically log the books they read. The winning high school and middle school will be announced in June 2017.