December 14, 2022 -- Hundreds of students at Leawood Elementary School are building their at-home libraries thanks to a free book fair provided by ABC Studios and the hit show “Abbott Elementary.”
ABC Studios partnered with Scholastic in 2022 to select Title 1 schools across the country to receive a free book fair. Leawood Elementary was among the handful of schools chosen to receive free books.
“They’re very, very excited,” said Leawood Elementary fourth grade teacher Dyan Butler. “It’s a very broad selection of books, they have a lot of the series that the kids like to read.”
Students at the school had one week in December to pick out two books they were allowed to take home. Butler said she could tell her students were excited about their selections immediately.
“I had some students reading their books as I was teaching math. I had to tell them to put their books down to the side, and when they finished with their independent work, they could have time to read,” Butler said.
She explained that she doesn’t blame them for their excitement, as she and all other teachers at the school could also pick out 10 books free of charge.
“I’ve got to build up my library, so teachers are always thankful for free books because you’ve got so many students, so I need to have a lot of books and a large selection.”
“Abbott Elementary” focuses on a school in Philadelphia, and the challenges teachers and students face on a daily basis. An ABC marketing executive said the partnership with Scholastic allows the companies to provide more support for educators.
“The thing is, all kids can’t pay and can’t purchase books. I know that I would not have 20-something students who would have been able to buy books. But the fact that they get to choose two books, we’re excited about that,” Butler said.
Columbus City Schools also provides access to reading opportunities for students and families to sharpen their reading skills. You can find links to a variety of resources here.