Today, singer, songwriter Taylor Swift and Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, announced a donation of 25,000 new, age-appropriate books from the Scholastic Possible Fund to 25 New York City schools in need of more books for their students.
Twenty-five schools will each receive 1,000 new children’s books through the Scholastic Possible Fund as a result of Taylor’s support of the Company’s “Open a World of Possible,” initiative, designed to promote independent reading among all children. As a long-time literacy advocate, Taylor hosted a webcast for classrooms during which she shared how books, reading and writing have influenced her and opened her world. Since it first aired in October 2014, the webcast has been viewed by more than 4.5 million students from around the country and is available here.
The importance of increasing access to books in schools was highlighted in the most recent Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report which found that children ages 6-17 from lower-income households are more likely to read books for fun in school and far less likely to read books outside of school than their higher-income peers. Further, having a selection of texts for independent reading can be a powerful tool to encourage kids to pick up a book. The same report revealed that nine in ten kids agree their favorite books – and the ones they are the most likely to finish – are the ones they pick out themselves.
“Scholastic is honored to join with Taylor Swift who continues to show a passion for literacy and a commitment to spreading the message of how influential books can be in a child’s life,” said Greg Worrell, President, Scholastic Education. “Through this donation, we aim to encourage independent reading which inspires a love of learning and to ‘Open a World of Possible’ for more New York City students by making sure they have access to the very best children’s books.”
“We are really looking forward to receiving these books and incorporating them into our school’s library so that all students in our building can have access to them,” said Principal Nova Xiomara, of PS 132, Juan Pablo Duarte School in Manhattan, NY.