There was something very exciting going on for young children in Stamford today and that was getting the chance to pick out their own books to read.
The books weren't used or even for sale -- rather, they were brand new and available for their choosing at no cost -- and it was all thanks to the Stamford Public Education Foundation.
"It's one of the best things, is seeing the looks on the kids' faces. They're so excited to have to opportunity to pick out some books," said Sennea Raslan, program coordinator and marketing specialist for SPEF.
SPEF hosted a summer book giveaway at the Chester Addison Community Center Thursday afternoon and it was just one of 8 giveaways the foundation's held this summer.
"We're specifically targeting summer reading loss right now," said Raslan.
A 2014 Harris Poll survey says nationally, only 17 percent of parents say reading is a top summer priority.
"Most students lose a lot of the pace that they're keeping up during the summer because of the lack of reading," said Raslan.
Serving hundreds of children, SPEF has given away thousands of books bi-annually. But this is the first time its held this summer event, because of a partnership with the Be Book Smart campaign.
The campaign is led by Reading is Fundamental, a nonprofit that delivers free books and literacy resources to children in underserved communities in the U.S.