The 2016 Democratic National Convention is long gone from Philadelphia, but the committee that organized the four-day political event still delivered some good news to city schools on Monday.
Toward the aim of building libraries in elementary school classrooms around the city, the DNC host committee is giving $750,000 to the School District of Philadelphia’s Right Books Campaign.
The donation will provide 80,000 books to the district and brings the campaign closer to its $3.5 million goal, announced in 2015, to create specialized libraries with early learning literacy experts at city schools, Philly Voice reported. The latest donation brings the campaign to within $700,000 of its goal, the paper reported.
“We wanted to have a significant impact through the convention on the Philadelphia community,” committee chairman and former Pennsylvania Gov.Ed Rendell told the Inquirer. “It’s a bow on the entire convention process.”
Rendell announced the gift Monday afternoon at Ludlow Elementary, with Mayor Jim Kenney and Superintendent William Hite.
The money, provided by corporate and private donors, had been held in escrow.
The Right Books Campaign has already received$6 million from the William Penn Foundation and $4.5 million from the Lenfest Foundation.
Beyond putting books in classrooms, Right Books aims to give Philly students works of fiction and nonfiction that are on-track with the students’ reading levels. The campaign notes that giving students a book not matched to their reading level can discourage them; exposure to “right books” can boost their interest in learning.