Free Books for Hartford Students

Free Books for Hartford Students

Hartford Public Library, a partner of Hartford Public Schools, recently received an award that will help provide free books to students in the district.

With a $40,000 gift from First Book, a nonprofit focused on equal access to quality education, Hartford Public Library has joined forces with HPS to distribute more than 12,000 free books to 4,000 children in Hartford. Through this partnership, students of all ages will be able to receive the books either from neighborhood libraries or in their classrooms.

In December, Hartford Public Library held kick-off events in all of their branches to give away $4,000 worth of books. They distributed more than 1,000 books to children who can use them to start or expand home libraries, with the goal of fostering a lifelong love of reading and creating a culture of literacy for students and families.

With the remaining funds, and through the Boundless @ Home Project, some 400 HPS teachers will select age-appropriate books to give to students to take, keep, and read at home. Each student, from eight of the city’s Title 1 Boundless partner schools, will receive $10 First Book gift certificates to purchase books, according to Denise Martens, HPL’s System-wide Manager, Youth & Family Services. That should allow for teachers to provide up to three books per student.

At this point in the effort, the HPS schools have all received their gift certificates. The books will include a diverse range of titles to interest students.

Literacy is a key component to the district’s Teaching and Learning priority, which focuses on quality instruction to ensure all students are on track to succeed and graduate. Research shows that the presence of books in the home drives improvement in educational outcomes.