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Wanted: Classroom books that reflect diversity

LEESBURG – Leesburg Elementary School has launched a campaign to fund 46 classroom libraries each with 100 books that reflect the cultural diversity of the student body.

 

“Research shows that students are more inclined to read books that not only align with their interests, but also reflect their culture or ethnicity,” said Assistant Principal Maurice Simmons, who is leading the campaign. “On our campus, over 67 percent of our students are minorities, which lends itself to this quote: ‘Books should be mirrors and windows.’ ”

 

The Educational Foundation of Lake County has supported the campaign with a generous donation of $15,000. The school would like to raise an additional $20,000.

 

“A student’s ability to read on grade level impacts their future success,” Simmons wrote in a letter to local businesses and civic organizations, requesting donations. “Putting books in the hands of our kids is critical to improving comprehension, vocabulary and writing skills that are necessary throughout their lives, both academically and professionally.”

 

To make a donation, please email Simmons at SimmonsM@lake.k12.fl.us or call the school at 352-365-9018. He and other representatives from the school are also available to speak about the project at community meetings and to facilitate tours of the school.

 

“The sooner we achieve this objective, the sooner we can get these much needed books into the hands of our students,” he said.