Mesa Public Schools restarts 'Stick to Reading' program

Kids on summer break have a new spot to pick up some books and get to reading.

Mesa Public Schools continues its "Stick to Reading" program this summer.

Summer time is for kicking back and relaxing, but that doesn't mean kids have to stop learning.

"We were looking for a way to keep kids reading," Delight Clark, President of Mesa Public Schools said. "So we developed a program for some emergency funding and distribute (books) through the district." 

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This program, called "Stick 2 Reading" at Jefferson Elementary School, helps keep kids hooked on reading over the summer and provides them with free lunch.

The program started during the pandemic and has grown since then. 

"We wanted to make sure not only kids had a good lunch, but that they also had a book they could take home and read, especially," Marlo Loria, Director of Career and Technical Education and Innovative Partnerships at Mesa Public Schools said.

This summer, about $25,000 worth of books will be given out by the school system.

Who can participate in the program?

It's not just for kids at the Mesa School District. Any school-aged kid can stop by.

"From shopping for the books to prepping the books, it makes me want to just take these kids and say let's sit down and have me read to you this book," Clark said.

Fifth grader Remy got to pick out his book today.

"I like graphic novels and comic books," Remy said.

It is a perfect program for an avid reader like Remy.

"To get the book, I feel like it's gonna be really good because reading books is one of my favorite hobbies to do," Remy said. "Sometimes I just sit down and read."

Loria says that's what the program is all about, inspiring kids to develop a love of reading and learning.

"As a community, we come together to focus on early literacy and on top of that the love of reading," she said. "A lot of kids are at home for half a day, all day long, and we want to get them off technology and be able to get in a book because not only is it enjoyable, it also builds those literacy skills for the future." 

The program changes locations every week.