Chamberlin Elementary collected 2,500 children’s books that will be distributed to students from May 20-23.

One of the reasons why the book drive was initiated was to help give students the opportunity to have their own books and to give them an incentive to read during the summer.

“A few of us teachers went to a conference in the fall about reading and things like that and really learned a lot about how much reading is lost over the summer and how much access to books has to do with that. We wanted to put books in the hands of our kids,” said Amanda Gilchrist, a first grade teacher at Chamberlin.

Chamberlin Elementary Librarian Lynne Hamilton is donating through the book fair and will give two new books per student. Students will also have the choice of choosing five book drive books.

There are 531 students at Chamberlin and each one will be able to bring seven books home with them for the summer.

“This is an impactful program because studies show many students who experience a 'summer slide' do not have access to books in their home. We are hopeful that the seven books each student will get to take home for the summer will be a huge step in allowing them to grow as readers in the months they are away from school,” Gilchrist said.

This is the first book drive that Chamberlin has put on, but Gilchrist hopes that it will continue in the future.

Gilchrist would like to thank the Stephenville community for donating several books for the students.

“We’re just really excited and thankful to be a part of a community that clearly values the literacy of our kids,” she added.