Thursday morning, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) handed out free literacy packages for elementary school students to bridge the gap between grades.

Each literacy package comes with five books, two pens, one journal, one postcard and one summer workbook.

The Summer Literacy Pop-Up Shop was held at Kay Pace Elementary School for the Arts and Thurgood Marshall Elementary. 

The drive-thru event was organized by Ebony Brown the Elementary English Language Arts (ELA) Coordinator for CCPS. Brown says she is focused on increasing access to literacy materials for CCPS students.

The summer pop-up event began last year. But Brown says the district has been providing summer learning resources for years.

“We handed out probably a thousand packs last year,” Brown said. “So that would be five thousand books.”

The district notified parents and guardians of the pop-up shop through the automated message system and parent liaisons. 

“I know most children lose a bit over the summer so I want to make sure she’s on target, and prep her for the upcoming grade,” Kinisha French, mother to a rising second-grader at Marshall Elementary said. 

“While she’s reading she writes down the words she doesn’t know and then once a week we go through them together and she writes down the definitions with the unknown word,” French said.

After the positive feedback from parents after last year’s event, Brown says she is hoping to continue to expand. Each pop-up has been located at a different school to provide equal access for students.

In March of 2021 CCPS, in collaboration with Women of Clayton County launched 12 little free libraries across Clayton County.

“When they take these materials they’re building a personal library at home,” Brown said. “If they come to our fall and summer pop-ups, that’s 10 new books.”

The Summer Literacy Pop-Up Shop was sponsored by the CCPS ELA Department, Women of Clayton County and the National Council of Negro Women–Henry/Clayton Section.

 

This article is one of a series of articles produced by The Atlanta Voice through support provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Word In Black, a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media outlets across the country.

 

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