2,000 signatures needed to help Clay Co. students get 40,000 free books

A nationwide program called First Book is designed to help kids succeed, but 2,000 signatures are needed first.

Thousands of books, enough to fill an entire library, could be coming to Clay County Schools  The initiative is part of First Book, a nationwide program by a non-profit to help kids succeed.

“I’m just so excited we’ve got 40,000 books coming into Clay County and parents can come and just get them,” said Renna Lee Paiva, President of the Clay County Education Association.

The books are completely free for all public-school students in Clay County, thanks to a sponsorship by the American Federation of Teachers Union.

Before the books arrive in Clay County though, they need at least 2,000 signatures from administrators, teachers and parent volunteers to make it official.

“Every parent in Clay County who’s at a Title One school, if they’re a volunteering parent we need them to sign up,” Paiva said.

Superintendent Addison Davis said the impact well surpasses the number of books.

“This access is going to allow us to fill gaps that we can’t financially afford in reference to building robust classroom libraries," Davis said.

With Clay County being one point shy of an A school rating, Davis said 40,000 books will help move towards that goal.

“This really helps us take a step in the right direction, this shows the community that literacy does matter,” Davis said.

Each student will be able to take home between seven to ten new books at no cost.

“I’ve been a guidance counselor, I’ve been 40 years in this business I know what it means for the kids that we have who don’t have a book that’s theirs,” Paiva said.

If they get all 2,000 signatures, students and parents can go pick up books Oct. 14 at Green Cove Junior High School.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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