8,000 CPS students receiving free books through University of Chicago program

Eight-thousand Chicago Public Schools students are expanding their home libraries thanks to a summer enrichment initiative through the University of Chicago.

A total of 40,000 children’s books are being distributed to students at 20 schools across the South Side, according to the University of Chicago. Each student receives 10 books a year.

The books are gifts from the University of Chicago’s My Very Own Library program, a pre-K through 8th grade initiative that boosts literacy and fosters a love of reading by helping students build their very own home libraries.

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"Giving books to young children not only sparks a love of reading in students, but studies show that it can lead to better academic and social-emotional outcomes," said Duane Davis, executive director of K-12 Education Initiatives for the Office of President at University of Chicago. "One of the easiest ways to help a young child, no matter their family’s income, is to gift them the right books for their age."

Author Christine Sonntornvatsigns books for students at William Ray ElementaryTuesday during the Winter Kick-Off of My Very Own Library, December 3, 2019. (Jean Lachat)

By 8th grade, students can collect nearly 100 books in his/her personal library.

Scholastic Book Fairs, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, is the exclusive book fair and book supply partner to the UChicago’s My Very Own Library.

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The initiative is a collaboration between My Very Own Library, Scholastic and Chicago Public Schools.

Click here for more information on My Very Own Library.