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December 19, 2016

Philadelphia School District gets major donation for influx of 80,000 books

Education Schools
School District of Philadelphia headquarters Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street.

The School District of Philadelphia announced Monday that it has received a major influx of supplies that will go toward advancing the city's literacy efforts. 

A $750,000 donation from the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee will bring 80,000 books new books to childen in classrooms all across the city, specifically those in Kingergarten through third grade. The goal, led by The Right Books Campaign, is to ensure that all students have attained grade-level reading by the time they reach fourth grade. 

“Thanks to our successful fundraising efforts, we are thrilled to be able to make this donation to The Fund for the School District, knowing that it will have a lasting impact on Philadelphia students for years to come,” said former governor and Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee Chair Ed Rendell. “The School District was a great partner to us during the Convention, and we hope that this contribution will not only help improve literacy throughout our schools but will also help more children become enthusiastic about civic engagement.”

The Right Books Campaign, launched in November 2015, set a goal of raising $3.5 million to establish specialized libraries with early learning literacy experts at schools around Philadelphia. The latest donation puts the campaign just $700,000 away from that target. 

“This is a great day for students in the School District of Philadelphia.  This $750,000 donation from the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee will have a direct and long lasting impact on increasing early literacy among our youngest students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia. “By the end of the next school year, all core K-3 classrooms in the city will have a leveled classroom library with the right books to succeed. Research shows that getting the right books in the right hands at the right time can have a huge impact on a student’s likelihood to graduate and their life long learning process.”

Earlier this fall, the Host Committee provided a separate donation of supplies and equipment to city schools. More than 550 pieces of tech equipment — laptops, desktops, iPhones and iPads — were donated at a value exceeding $400,000. Teachers also received a donation of vital office supplies. 

“When Philadelphia won the bid for the [Democratic National Convention], we were committed to ensuring it was an event that would benefit the entire city, in one form or another. The Host Committee shared that vision and were incredible partners throughout the whole process. Beginning with the Youth News team, Broad Street Beautification, and engaging The Arc of Philadelphia, to, now, ending with this contribution to our public schools, I cannot thank them enough."