Utahns' old books helping young readers

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Many Utahns have shelves of books that sit unopened. Those books could help inspire young students to do more reading.

Chopper 5 delivered the first load of what would be nearly 4,000 donated books to Washington Elementary School Thursday. Kids cheered when the chopper landed, but yelled even louder when they saw the books.

Partners of KSL's Read Today program helped wheel in the boxes of books.

Principal Becky Pittam has tried to get every student and their parents to commit to reading 20 minutes every day. She says this donation goes a long way just in the message sent.

"It means a lot. It shows us the community wants to come together with us and do great things for kids," Pittam says.

The books came from a company called Reading Tree. It has set up a few hundred big, blue donations bins throughout the state where people can drop off their gently-used books.

The company recycles the books it can't use and gets money for the paper pulp that is donated back into the school. Then it redistributes the rest of the books to schools in need, like Washington Elementary.

"What chance do students have without the proper tools?" asks Reading Tree's Ben Chandler. "It's kind of hard to tell kids to read 20 minutes a day if they don't have anything to read."

After the book presentation, women from the Brigham Young University Management Society awarded the school's top readers, then volunteered to read in every class. They underscored the importance of reading every day by example.

If you'd like to find the nearest book donation bin near you, CLICK HERE.

E-mail: dwimmer@ksl.com

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Nadine Wimmer


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