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Mayor Battle's Book Club









"Mayor Battle's Book Club," made possible by First Book - North Alabama, RBC Bank and Boeing, reach students at 7 local elementary schools in its first year. Mayor Battle and First Book-North Alabama are working to strengthen childhood literacy in Huntsville. Through the innovative program, nearly 3,000 Huntsville elementary students will receive books to take home and keep. The program will kick off March 2nd with a "Read Across Huntsville" event featuring seven Huntsville City Schools where 3,000 local students will receive the first book of the program. March 2nd will begin a celebration of reading that will continue throughout the school year as students receive additional books every few weeks. By the end of the school year, thousands of Huntsville students will have their very own personal library.

"Mayor Battle's Book Club" works by partnering with First Book - North Alabama (FBNA). FBNA joins with publishing companies and is able to provide high quality books at a cost of about $2 per book. The First Book Online Marketplace offers numerous titles to suit a wide range of ages and reading levels. After the March 2nd event featuring Dr. Seuss (or grade appropriate book), teachers in participating schools will then choose the remaining books that best suit their students' needs. Children will receive a new book every few weeks through the end of the school year.

The number of participating schools was determined by costs. Schools were selected based on a combination of factors, including: Title I status and AYP performance.

The ratio of books to children in middle-income neighborhoods is approximately 13 books per child. However, the ratio in low-income neighborhoods is only 1 book per 300 children. By providing children with books they can take home and keep, "Mayor Battle's Book Club" and First Book -North Alabama are targeting the only variable that correlates significantly with reading scores-the number of books in the home.

First Book - North Alabama helps by:
* First Book increases children's interest in reading. Two separate studies found that "high interest in reading" triples among children who received new books from First Book.
* First Book empowers teachers. 99.2 percent of programs that receive books from First Book are able to increase their literacy efforts and offer new curriculum activities, including parent engagement programs.
* First Book improves literacy in the home. With First Book's resources, families are able to create home libraries for the first time. More than 70 percent of children who received books through First Book reported increased reading at home.
* First Book engages a growing number of programs. More than 25,000 programs are registered with First Book and hundreds more join each week.
* First Book is mission-driven and highly efficient. 97 cents of every dollar donated to First Book supports our efforts to provide new books to children in need.

How Does the Mayor's Book Club work with First Book?
By partnering with publishing companies First Book is able to provide high quality books at a cost of about $2 per book. The First Book Online Marketplace offers numerous titles to suit a wide range of ages and reading levels. After the March 2nd event featuring Dr. Seuss, teachers will then choose the remaining books that best suit their students' needs.

By providing new books to the children who need them most, Mayor Battle's Book Club and First Book-North Alabama are working to strengthen childhood literacy in Huntsville. First Book-North Alabama would like to express our thanks to sponsors RBC and Boeing for making a difference for children in our community.

If you'd like to help with Mayor Battle's Book Club by contributing or volunteering, please contact us at contact@huntsvilleal.gov.



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