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Lots of families in Southwest got a few new books for their home libraries, signed up for library cards and summer reading programs, and enrolled in Books from Birth during Impact Day at the Southwest Family Enhancement Center.

The event, hosted by the District of Columbia Housing Authority and Deloitte, focused on several educational tools. The book distribution is from the Book Rich Environment initiative and will be used as part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, where DCHA is partnered with the D.C. Public Library.

“DCHA, Deloitte, and the D.C. Public Libraries are all working to strengthen and support our communities and their love of reading,” said Interim Executive Director Nathan Bovelle. “These ongoing summer book distributions are a great way for DCHA families to not only get great summer reading material, but also learn of the many ways DCHA and their local library can fulfill a variety of their families’ needs.”

DCHA is one of 40 housing authorities participating in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to bring books into the homes of young people. As part of the campaign, the 40 public housing authorities are focusing on decreasing chronic school absenteeism, encouraging adults to read to children, creating policy changes, and establishing networks to supply housing authorities with diverse and high quality books.

DCHA’s focus is establishing the local and national network to support and increase literacy within its communities. Early this year, DCHA announced it is part of a collaborative effort called Book-Rich Environments launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Education. The initiative will promote literacy and boost educational outcomes for kids in HUD-assisted housing nationwide. Other program partners include the National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC).

BRE aims to transform Public Housing Agencies (PHA) into book-rich environments by putting diverse, high quality books and other literacy tools into the hands of children and families living in HUD-assisted housing. BRE was inspired by recommendations by the President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force, an initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by America’s youth, and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

DCHA and the D.C. Library are partners in the campaign and will hold several distribution events throughout the summer, such as Beat the Street parties and other community celebrations. This partnership also strengthens the relationship between the two agencies to improve their community service and ensure continued access to high quality literacy resources.

At the June 9 event, DCPL gave out approximately 120 books, signed five people up for library cards, registered attendees for Build a Better World Summer Reading, and promoted other library services.

"Community members were thrilled to be building their home libraries. We look forward to collaborating further with DCHA throughout the summer,” said Tracy Sumler, Outreach Manager for D.C. Public Library.

NBF worked with publishers such as Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, which is providing 200,000 books towards the initiative, in furtherance of its mission to nourish a universal passion for reading. Hachette Book Group and Macmillan Publishers have also committed to substantial donations to the initiative. 

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Last modified: 6/20/2017 10:22:56 AM