STAMFORD, CT, July 18, 2016 – For the past five years, The Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) has taken on the challenge of motivating children to read by giving away free books. Today the non-profit agency announces its Books Across Stamford – Summer 2016 Series, which aims to help curb summer learning loss. Approximately 2,000 books are distributed each summer to kindergarten through 5th grade students, with a total of over 5,000 throughout the year. This year’s Book Giveaways will take place at the following community centers: July 14: 9:30am-10:30am Boys & Girls Club 347 Stillwater Ave. July 19: 1:30pm-2:30pm Yerwood Center 90 Fairfield Ave July 21: 3:00pm-5:00pm Domus 83 Lockwood Ave. July 26: 1:45pm-2:30pm Barrett Park Newfield Ave. & Burdick St. July 28: 3:00pm-4:00pm Family Center at Lawn Hill Terrace 34 Custer St. August 2: 10:30am-11:30am Davenport Day Camp 1300 Newfield Ave. August 4: 12:30pm-1:30pm Neighbor’s Link 75 Selleck St. August 9: 9:30am-10:30am CLC William Pitt Child Development Center 195 Hillandale Ave. To help ensure the success of this book giveaway series, since 2013, SPEF has partnered with Reading is FUNdamental (RIF), who provides free, new books, and maintains strong ties with Stamford’s Ferguson Library. In addition to SPEF’s Books Across Stamford – Summer 2016 Series, SPEF hold two large-scale giveaways each year at the Library. These events include a professional storyteller, guest readers from the Stamford community, arts & crafts activities, and healthy snacks for all who attend. SPEF also provides book donations throughout the year to other local organizations, as well as to the City of Stamford. About Summer Reading Loss: The key to helping children maintain and even improve their literacy skills over the summer is providing access to quality books that they can choose based on personal interests. Despite research that indicates the importance of summer reading in preventing children from losing literacy skills, only 17 percent of parents say reading is a top summer priority, according to a 2014 survey from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s*. Key findings of the Harris Poll survey include: • On average, parents say their child spends 17.4 hours/week watching TV or playing video games, 16.7 hours/week playing outside and only 5.9 hours/week reading. • Parents who consider reading to be extremely or very important are twice as likely to have a child who reads every day. • Children who were involved in a reading program last summer were up to two times more likely to read every day. Yet, over half of parents said their child did not participate in a reading program at all last summer. • Despite the proliferation of e-books and digital formats, 83 percent of parents said their child preferred print books for summer reading, compared to 7 percent preferring tablets and 4 percent preferring e-readers.