WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (JUNE 3, 2022) — With just days to go before summer vacation, the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation (WASDEF) announced its distribution of $4,000 to WASD’s elementary library system in support of the district’s revival of its #MillionairesRead Summer Reading Program.
Grant dollars will be used to purchase brand-new books to recognize and honor incoming kindergarten through fifth-grade students who complete the program. Each book purchased will be dedicated to summer readers and installed in the students’ respective school libraries in the fall as part of WASDEF’s “Building Libraries Through Literacy” program.
WASDEF is continuing its partnership with Otto Bookstore, which has committed to also provide a $5 gift card to each program-completer to promote the growth of home libraries.
“This program represents an ongoing effort for the education foundation to support literacy and promote reading in the district,” said WASDEF Executive Director Greg Hayes. “It’s a great partnership on many levels that also has a tangible benefit in increasing the inventory of not only the elementary libraries but also the students’ book collections at home.”
Thanks to a donation from UPMC, every incoming K-5 student also will receive a “summer reading kit” with a #MillionairesRead-branded cinch-bag. Each bag contains program reading logs for the district, James V. Brown Library and the Williamsport Crosscutters, automatically enrolling them in each. The bags also contain a sample collection from UPMC’s new coloring book, featuring the local hospital system’s mascot, Will M. Sport, and a box of Crayons.
Every K-5 student also will have the opportunity to receive a free book, thanks to funding from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania through Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) donations received by C&N, First National Bank of PA, M&T Bank and Woodlands Bank.
Elementary Librarian Sarah Bohnert and Federal Programs Director Patricia Wylie expressed their gratitude for the collective support in reviving the program for the first time in three years, noting the “huge difference in the lives and learning of district students.”
“The WASD elementary libraries have greatly benefited from the education foundation’s generous support over the years,” Bohnert said. “Their continued support, along with the additional support received this year to help elevate the importance of summer reading, is very much appreciated. We’re very grateful. This will help to encourage many of our students to read throughout the summer and promote other literacy-based opportunities in the community.”
WASDEF is a recognized nonprofit affiliate of the school district. Led by a 20-member volunteer board of directors, the education foundation facilitates charitable giving and permanent legacies based on individual areas of interest in educational innovation, the arts, athletics and scholarships. For more information, visit www.wasdeducationfoundation.org.