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More than 460 elementary and middle school students received new books through the Williamsburg Regional Library and Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools’ summer book fair.
The fifth annual book fair was hosted July 20 and 21 at J. Blaine Blayton Elementary and Lois Hornsby Middle schools.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade attended and were allowed to select free, new books to take home with them.
The impetus behind the fair is the need to combat “summer slide,” which refers to the tendency of students’ reading skills to deteriorate in the summer months when they are not in school.
“Research shows that students who aren’t reading over the summer fall behind in their reading skills by a month,” said Sandy Towers, youth services director for WRL. “Lower income students decline by a far greater margin.”
Book fair attendees in grades kindergarten through second grade had the opportunity to choose three books each to take home, while students in third grade and above took home two books. A total of 1,176 books were distributed.
The book fair was part of WRL’s summer reading program, which promotes reading across all grade levels during the summer months.