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Gov. DeSantis promotes childhood literacy in Fort Pierce

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:46 AM EDT
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Florida is aiming to improve childhood literacy among students who are struggling to read.

Speaking at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 3 into law, which delivers free, high quality books to the homes of K-5 students who are below their expected reading level.

Known officially as the "New Worlds Reading Initiative," the book deliveries will start no later than Dec. 31 for the 2021/22 academic year. Books will be delivered on a monthly basis during every school year from October to June.

"Unfortunately, statistics show students who have fewer books and literacy-based interactions at home than their peers have lower educational attainment and lifetime income-earning potential," the bill reads. "Programs that deliver books directly to students' homes and support engagement in reading enable parents to develop their child's reading skills and enjoyment of reading and foster improved outcomes for students."

You can read the bill by clicking here.

Every school district in Florida will participate in the program and will identify students in need of the free books. The districts will work with local non-profit organizations to coordinate book delivery to childrens' homes.

Students will be identified to receive the books if they have a "substantial reading deficiency" or scored below a Level 3 on the preceding year's standardized English Language Arts assessment.

Scripps Only Content 2021