120+ Volunteers Help First Graders Read through Virginia Beach READS

Barnes & Noble’s Partners with Book Fair

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Reading on grade level is a critical milestone in a child's educational and future life success. That's why the Virginia Beach READS program is so important, and why Barnes & Noble is hosting a book fair to support it. The fair will run Nov. 12 from noon to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Virginia Beach Town Center, 4485 Virginia Beach Blvd.

Virginia Beach READS, a local collaborative program administered through GrowSmart, Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the Office of Volunteer Resources, works to ensure that all students can read at or above grade level by the third grade. Studies show that children who fall behind are likely to stay that way, and a child not reading at grade level by the end of first grade has an 88% chance of not reading at grade level by the end of fourth grade. Children not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.

The READS program pairs volunteers with first graders to help them improve reading skills. Virginia Beach READS is in full swing at Bayside, Luxford, Point of View, Shelton Park and White Oaks elementary schools where more than 120+ volunteers work with 130+ first-grade students. The program provides one-on-one mentors and also collaborates with parents to continue the love of reading at home. 

Purchases at the book fair will support the program by supplying books to the participating students. Online purchases will be credited from Nov.12-17 by going to bn.com/bookfairs and entering Book Fair ID #1201416 at checkout.  

Through Dec. 30, shoppers can continue to support Virginia Beach READS through the Book Drive by making a donation or purchasing a book that will be donated to the program. All books will be provided to Virginia Beach children to support their literacy development.

As a member of the national network of communities across the United States that have joined the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Virginia Beach READS focuses on three pillars of success proven to directly impact reading proficiency in the early grades. By emphasizing the importance of school readiness, prevention of summer learning loss and on-time daily attendance, Virginia Beach READS is committed to moving the needle on third-grade reading.  Community partners in the local campaign include Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Libraries, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation and GrowSmart.

GrowSmart is operated through the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness and reading proficiency of young children ages 0-8. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart also offers programming to ensure the availability of high quality early education. Visit www.growsmart.com for more information.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. CNNMoney.com ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.

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