The halls of St. Louis College Prep were filled with shouts of joy Wednesday afternoon.
You might think that is because it was the last day before scholars go on the holiday break, but in reality, the scholars were celebrating something even more exciting than having several weeks off from school.
"I've been wanting to read this book for so long!" said one scholar before racing to a friend to show here which book she had received as part of the annual SCP Holiday Book Gift program.
Other scholars literally jumped for joy when opening their books, throwing wrapping paper in the air and eagerly flipping through the pages of their new possession.
The SCP Holiday Book Gift program provides a book of their own choice to each and every scholar at St. Louis College Prep, making sure that the scholars have something they want to read over the holiday break.
Books are purchased thanks to very generous donations by SCP staff and their friends and family.
This year the program put over 300 personally selected books into the hands of our scholars, underlining one of the key aspects of SCP culture -- a love of reading.
Each book was hand wrapped by SCP staff and delivered to the scholars at the end of the day on Wednesday.
Reading is fundamental and our scholars dedicate a lot of time to reading. Every day we have DEAR where our scholars "Drop Everything And Read" for 30 minutes. There is no better way for our scholars to meet this goal than to send them home with a book of their choice.
A 2010 study of over 17,000 young people revealed a strong link between young people's reading ability and their access to books at home: 80% of children who read above the expected level for their age have books of their own; this figure drops to 58% for children reading below their expected level. The reports also found that young people who did not own their own books were nearly twice as likely to agree with negative statements about reading, for example "Reading is more for girls than boys", "Reading is hard" and "I only read when I have to". They were also three times more likely to agree with the statements "Reading is boring" and "I only read in class".