About ED INITIATIVES
Gulf Coast Book Donation

The Gulf Coast Book Donation, a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Education and First Book's Book Relief program, is designed to help replenish reading materials in schools, community libraries, and homes in hurricane-affected communities across the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. First Book's Book Relief program is an unprecedented industry-wide effort to distribute five million new books to those affected by the 2005 hurricanes via organizations, schools and libraries.

As part of this initiative, various public events were held throughout 2006 and 2007 to highlight the importance of reading and learning, announce the distribution of over 1.15 million donated books into the hurricane-afflicted communities, and spotlight the Department's commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

Building on the momentum and success of the 2006 initiatives, the 2007 Gulf Coast Summer Reading Initiative involved the distribution of 500,000 new books—donated by Scholastic, Inc.—to students, families, schools and libraries in communities across Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. The media events, which ranged all the way from Port Arthur, Texas to Pensacola, Florida, took place between April and early June 2007 and involved senior staff from the Education Department—including Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings—along with representatives from First Book and Scholastic, state and local dignitaries, school leaders, and students. The events stressed the importance of reading—especially over the summer months—and reinforced the Department and Administration's ongoing commitment to the rebuilding and revitalization of the Gulf Coast.

The 2006-2007 Gulf Coast Book Donation

The Gulf Coast Book Donation, a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Education and First Book's Book Relief program, was designed to help replenish reading materials in schools, community libraries, and homes in hurricane-affected communities across the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. First Book's Book Relief program was an unprecedented industry-wide effort to distribute five million new books to those affected by the 2005 hurricanes via organizations, schools and libraries. As part of this initiative, various public events were held throughout 2006 and 2007 to highlight the importance of reading and learning, announce the distribution of over 1.15 million donated books into the hurricane-affected communities, and spotlight the Department's commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

The 2007 Gulf Coast Summer Reading Initiative

The 2007 Gulf Coast Summer Reading Initiative involved the distribution of 500,000 new books, donated by Scholastic, Inc.,to students, families, schools and libraries in communities across Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. The media events, which ranged all the way from Port Arthur, Texas to Pensacola, Florida, took place between April and early June 2007 and involved senior staff from the Education Department—including Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings—along with representatives from First Book and Scholastic, state and local dignitaries, school leaders, and students. The events stressed the importance of reading—especially over the summer months—and reinforced the Department and Administration's ongoing commitment to the rebuilding and revitalization of the Gulf Coast.

2006 Gulf Coast Holiday Book Donation

In December 2006, as part of the holiday book donation efforts, Deputy Secretary Ray Simon visited North Bay Elementary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and presented free books to students at Bay St. Louis-Hancock County Library. The U.S. Department of Education's Camille Cain visited Combre-Fondel Elementary School in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she presented free books and read to students.

2006 Gulf Coast Back to School Book Donation

In August 2006, as part of the back-to-school book donation efforts, Deputy Secretary Ray Simon visited Andrew Jackson Elementary School in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, where he announced the donation of free books to students. Assistant Secretary Henry Johnson visited Delisle Elementary School in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where he presented free books and read to elementary school students.

2006 Gulf Coast Summer Reading Initiative

In June 2006, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings visited Belle Chasse Primary School in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, where she joined state and local dignitaries in reading to K-2 students, visited classrooms and handed out brand-new books to local children. Deputy Secretary Ray Simon visited Theodore Johns Library in Beaumont, Texas—a town hard-hit by Hurricane Rita, which severely damaged its libraries—where he met with local officials, read to elementary-aged children and delivered books to local students. The initiative's final public event was held at the Forest Heights Boys and Girls Club, located in the North Gulfport 7th and 8th Grade School in Gulfport, Mississippi, where the Secretary's Regional Representative Anne Hancock donated books to local children, toured the facility, and convened a discussion group with club members.

For more information on First Book and its Book Relief initiative, visit www.bookrelief.org.


 
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Last Modified: 12/07/2007