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White Plains PTA Council Gives Away 10,000 Books to Students

Over two days, large crowds turned out for the the White Plains PTA Council's annual free book event.

Photo credit: White Plains PTA Council
Photo credit: White Plains PTA Council
The following release is from the White Plains PTA Council:

The White Plains PTA Council hosted its 2nd Annual Free Book Celebration this weekend.  Over the course of two days, May 2 & 3, the PTA gave away an estimated ten thousand books to students in the White Plains School District. 

At the White Plains High School “mini” celebration on Friday, two thousand books were distributed in one hour.  “All the SAT prep books disappeared in eight minutes,” said Caroline Furry, the main organizer of the event.  She added, “The students couldn't have been more appreciative.”

Cardon Furry, WPHS Class of 2016 co-president and student representative on the PTA Book Committee, secured donations from The College Board, The Princeton Review, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Cardon Furry stated “These book sponsors made it possible for us to offer a wider selection of books, which allowed us to effectively support our middle and high school students.”

The larger community event, held the next day, was as much a success. Local dignitaries, including Mayor Tom Roach, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, State Assemblyman David Buchwald, and County Legislator Ben Boykin, pitched in and helped the PTA distribute the remaining eight thousand books to over 900 people.

State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who serves on the State Assembly Committee on Education, said at the event, “Reading is at the core of everything we do.   It opens doors.  It allows us to learn and plan for the future.  When a community embraces reading, they demonstrate to our children how important it is to us all.  The White Plains PTA Council should be applauded for their efforts.”

Further information is available online at http://www.facebook.com/WhitePlainsPTAFreeBookCelebration

Sandra Harrison May 06, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Giving away free books does not insure that they will be read or utilized by the students themselves. They can be sold by the parents to make money. Also it seems that the give away was an opportunity for politicians to put in an appearance to get people to vote for them. I would have liked to see an event signing students up for library cards and encouraging them to use them. The free books could be given to the libraries to borrow. The TILI Shed has free used books for children.
Caroline Furry May 07, 2014 at 04:20 PM
Research supports this event, see below. I encourage you to talk to the local libraries (as we did)- they have 1000's of donated books that go unused and are stored in basements, closets ... They were thrilled to donate to an organization that actually was going to put them to use. Have you ever thought of distributing the books in the TILI shed to children in WP. The TILI shed is not centrally located and many families with out transportation can not access it and/or have no idea it even exists. You might want to look at creating a book mobile so can reach more WP families. 61% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books in their homes. Children from middle-income homes have on average 13 books per child. There is only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. Fewer than half (48%) of young children in the U.S. are read to daily. The percentage of children read to daily drops even lower (to 36%) among low-income families, whose children face the highest risk of literacy problems. The average child growing up in a middle class family has been exposed to 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading. The average child growing up in a low-income family has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading.

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