Irving school district students received free books to keep up with their reading over the summer. The school district teamed up with Scholastic to give away nearly 90,000 books to economically disadvantaged students. The program, Irving Reads, tries to bridge the “summer reading loss” by providing age age-appropriate book packs for pre-kindergartners to seventh-graders. “You leave them on a certain level, and there is a big gap when they come back — especially the ones that aren’t involved in any kind of school program beforehand or anything like that,” said Taylor Osborn, a second-grade teacher at Hanes Elementary School. Fifth-grader Alison Munoz, who said she reads an average of 14 books per week, was thankful for the additional reading material. “I was so excited about the packet, because I’m getting new adventures now,” she said. “Like, during the summer, my mom, if she grounds me, I could just get the book, and say, ‘Sorry, Mom, but your grounding doesn’t really work.'” Superintendent Dana Bedden said most of the district is economically disadvantaged. “We’re 82 percent free and reduced lunch, so at least eight out of 10 kids are getting free and reduced lunch, so this is one more opportunity for us to reach out and provided support to our families,” he said. The school district hosted the book initiative for the third consecutive year. About 250,000 books have been given out since Irving Reads began.

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