DeSantis Announces 81,000 Free Books for Students

January 26, 2022 Updated 1:27 PM ET

January 26, 2022 Updated 1:10 P.M. ET

CRAWFORDVILLE (FCV) – Governor Ron DeSantis (R)  joined Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Speaker Chris Sprowls at Riversink Elementary School in Wakulla County to discuss the New Worlds Reading Initiative – a book-delivery program created through House Bill 3 in the 2021 Legislative Session and signed into law by DeSantis in June 2021.

“One of the most important things we can do to put students on the path toward success is making sure they develop literacy skills early in life,” DeSantis said.

 “Our goal is to make Florida the number one state in the nation for literacy because the benefits of reading stay with our children for the rest of their lives. It was great to highlight a program today that has already begun delivering more than 80,000 books a month to students across our state.”

“Literacy is foundational to learning and is one of the most pressing issues facing our students today,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.

“We need to celebrate and encourage literacy because it helps students unlock their true potential. After all, education is freedom – the great equalizer. I deeply appreciate Governor DeSantis’ focus on literacy and putting our students on a path to a great life.”

Foundational literacy skills are important for students to succeed academically. Research shows that approximately 86% of students who struggle to read in grade 3 continue to struggle with literacy through grade 10. 

DeSantis’ New Worlds Reading Initiative is Florida’s first statewide book distribution program that provides free books to readers in grades K-5 monthly. 

Nearly $200 million has been dedicated to this initiative, and the program began distribution in December 2021.

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