(FRANKFORT, KY) – Children will be given free books at several lunch programs being held across the state this summer as a part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) summer reading and math initiative, Stride Don’t Slide! The book giveaways will kick off June 28 with events in Grayson and Flemingsburg as part of a national initiative through READ Up: Stop the Summer Slide and The Children’s Reading Foundation.

“Although the summer months provide a much-needed break for students and teachers, studies show that up to three months of regression in reading and math can happen during the time off. The threat of regression is greatest for students not participating in summer learning and enrichment activities,” said KDE Commissioner Wayne Lewis. “With this initiative, our goals are to encourage parents to read to their youngest children for 20 minutes a day, encourage older students to read daily and promote summer-long learning for all students.”

KDE has partnered with districts throughout the state, where it will offer free lesson plans and books to all children who attend the events. The program will be held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program events. Districts participating in the reading program are Bell*, Fleming, Marion, Frankfort Independent*, Carter, Hickman, Powell and Whitley. Books for the program have been donated by the Governor’s Office for Early Childhood, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and through a KDE partnership with Penguin Books.

“This is an exciting opportunity to promote reading and summer learning with students and families across the commonwealth,” said KDE Deputy Commissioner Amanda Ellis. “We are looking forward to meeting and reading with students throughout the summer.”

The scheduled stops include:

June 28
11 a.m.         Fleming Trace Apartments Park
                     282 Rucker St., Flemingsburg

12:30 p.m.    Poplar Plains Apartments
                     420 McDavid Boulevard, Grayson

July 1
1:30 p.m.      Williamsburg Housing Authority     
                    600 Brush Arbor Rd., Williamsburg

July 9
Noon            Hickman County Elementary School (Cafeteria)    
                    416 McMorris St., Clinton

July 10
Noon            Hickman County Elementary School (Cafeteria)    
                    416 McMorris St., Clinton

July 11
1:30 p.m.      Grahn School Community Center 
                     7380 Aden Rd, Grahn

July 16
10 a.m.          Powell Village
                      555 W. Railroad St., Stanton

10 a.m.          Bakers Apartments 
                     485 E. College Ave., Stanton

11 a.m.          Dream Bus, Lebanon Elementary School
                     420 W. Main St., Lebanon

Noon              Public Library 201
                     E. Main St., Lebanon

12:45 p.m.     Dream Bus, Lebanon Elementary School
                     420 W. Main St., Lebanon

3:30 p.m.       Public Library 201
                      E. Main St., Lebanon

July 31
1:30 p.m.       Williamsburg Housing Authority
                      600 Brush Arbor Rd., Williamsburg

* Book giveaway times have not yet been scheduled for Frankfort Independent and Bell County.