Today, Wednesday, September 6th, is National Read a Book Day. It’s your chance to make a difference in our community through our company’s If You Give A Child A Book campaign. Here locally, every dollar we raise is making sure each student at Nash Elementary school goes home with ten brand new books that they get to pick.

Earlier this week, we introduced you to some of the great kids and teachers over at Nash, and I wanted to share more of my conversation with the folks I met at the school, about what this program and reading in general means for these kids.

Shari-Ann Lossou-Lovasi is a 4th grade teacher at Nash. She’s helping fourth graders find their new favorite stories.

“You should just see the way they come out of the library, with what they’re holding on to them. They love their books. They want to sit down and read as soon as we get back into class,” she said. “They love the choice. Instead of somebody telling them, ‘You have to do this, you have to do that’ they get to choose. They love it.”

Fourth grader Ava loves comic books. She can’t wait to check out more books from Nash’s library.

“Today we have a library, but the library teacher wasn’t here and I was really bummed,” she told me. “I read on my free time…but when we have a minute left, I spend most of my time with them!”

Another fourth grader, Yianna, has two favorite books that range from spooky to scientific.

“In real life, it’s called ‘Ghost’, and in the library it’s called ‘Moon’. It’s a little bit intense but scary.”

When Yianna comes to pick her new books this year, she says she wants to find on that’s just right for her little cousin.

“She’s in first grade now, and she’s using the easy books, she likes those stories like ‘Pete the Cat’.”

Kids a year younger than Yianna and Ava are at a critical age in their academic journeys. Research from the ‘Children’s Reading Foundation’ says kids who aren’t reading at grade level by third grade will struggle year after year. That’s because more than 85% of schools’ average curriculum is taught by reading.

“If you can’t read, or if you struggle with reading, you really want to be able to learn how to get better,” Shari-Ann Lossou-Lovasi told me. “Practice, practice, practice…because it’s the basis for everything in your life.”

And right now you can help us buy these new books to help kids in our community. Every cent of those donations will go to Nash Elementary.

Today only (Wednesday, September 6), our parent company’s foundation will match your donation dollar-for-dollar for the first $150,000.

You can donate through this link or text KGUN to 50155.

Just for fun we asked some members of the Good Morning Tucson crew to share their favorite books on this National read a Book Day. Just a note though, many of these may be a little too advanced for elementary readers.

Jose Zozaya Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Claire Graham Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

April Madison Anything by James Patterson or autobiographies

Tina Giulliano Star Wars books like Courtship of Princess Leia or Specter of the Past and The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Sean (Executive Producer) Dune by Frank Herbert and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Kenan (Producer) The Goosebumps books by R.L. Stein

AJ (Producer) House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Ray (Director) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Johnny (Editor) Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Louis (Photographer) Red Dragon by Thomas Harris and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy