By: Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 16, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hundreds of Bond Elementary School students are getting a special treat for the summer.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the school and Scholastic Books to purchase more than 600 brand new books to give out on the last day of school. It's part of the inaugural 'Books for Bond' program.
The books range from pre-K level through fifth grade. LCSO and school faculty presented the good news to two classes in the media center on Wednesday.
About 90 percent of the students that attend Bond Elementary are from a home that lives at or below the poverty line. LCSO and school staff hope the books will prevent a summer slump in learning.
Rhonda Harden, a media specialist at Bond Elementary, spearheaded the event to get books for her students.
"Reading is what drives the bus,” said Harden. "If you can't read you can't do anything else, so that is so important. We keep our babies reading and we have them understand the importance of reading."
Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil also stressed the importance of staying sharp during the summer.
“We want you guys engaged,” said Sheriff McNeil. “Reading, doing your vocabulary, and doing a little bit of math when you can.”
Bond Elementary School faculty and sheriff’s deputies spoke about the importance of reading, even after the students finish their new book. They encouraged students to read books from public libraries.
Bond Elementary is also planning to have summer reading activities for students.