ST. CLOUD - The District 742 Local Education and Activities Foundation (LEAF), is delivering books to kids in need with a bus, thanks to it's expanded childhood reading program.

Thanks to a partnership and $15,000 gift from the St. Cloud Rotary Club, LEAF was able to expand its parents and kids reading aloud together (PAKRAT) program into the summer. The program gives books to kids who lack access to them in preschool through third grade.

LEAF executive director Bruce Hentges says students who don't have access to reading materials in the summer, often struggle in school.

"A study based on Richard Allington's research says up to 85 percent of the achievement gap can be attributed to the summer slide, where students are not exposed to quality educational materials. This program can help fill that void."

Money was also used to buy a school bus to deliver the books to students every week. The bus makes stops at six locations, including the three Boys & Girls Club locations and schools with Kidstop programs.

Over 5,000 books were also added to the summer PAKRAT collection. Students of any age from any school in District 742 can visit the bus stops.

You can find the complete schedule of bus stops by clicking here.

Dan DeBaun, WJON
Dan DeBaun, WJON

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