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"It was unreal to watch their little faces": Hardin school book fair sends kids home with 6 books

Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 03, 2023

HARDIN – If you have bookcases full of books at home, count yourself fortunate.

Twenty-five million children in the US cannot read proficiently, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress. This means they aren’t where they should be for their grade level.

At Q2, we’re proud to be a part of the "If You Give A Child A Book" campaign where your donations help get books into the hands of every kid.

Hardin Primary School kicked off its annual "I Love To Read Month” this February with some big goals and free books for every single child.

Principal Roxanne Not Afraid said sending books home with kids is huge because it benefits the whole family.

“It's a generous, generous gift,” she said.

Librarian Teri Wagner said she has been putting on a book fair at the school for over 20 years, but not every child can afford to buy something.

“This week when I told the kids you get to get up now and find six books, for some of those kids who never get to come to the book fair because of the money, it was unreal. It was unreal to watch their little faces,” Wagner said.

Every child at Hardin Primary School picked out six books at the free book fair on Wednesday, funded by a partnership between Scholastic, Q2, and the Scripps Foundation.

They had to check them out, but the costs are all covered.

“It is an awesome, awesome thing,” Wagner said.

Penelope Flatness is in second grade. She said she loves to read, and had two favorite books she got to pick out.

Classmate Aramis (Jacob) Cloud picked out ‘Fly Guy Presents Garbage and Recycling.’

“I liked it,” he said.

“We set a goal last year as a whole school to read 5,000 books, and they read like 10,000 books. So this year, we set a goal at 8,000.” said Wagner.

It's an annual push to get kids to read at home, or have their parents or guardians read to them.

If you read a lot of books you get a teddy bear,” said Cloud.

Students log their at-home reading hours, and if that’s not possible, their teachers and Mrs. Wagner make sure they get to read together at school.

Go toktvq.comgiveabook to donate now to help buy books for more Montana classrooms.

Next week…all the kiddos at Pioneer Schools will be having their free book fair.