GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A local elementary school hosted its second annual Summer Send-Off Book Drive in Green Bay on Monday.

Brown County United Way and Imperial Supplies partnered up with Howe Elementary Community School to give each student a new book to take home with them for the summer.

The book drive is meant to encourage the students to read during the summer in an effort to reduce educational regression that can occur when students are not in school.

“Imperial Supplies has a long history of supporting education in the Green Bay area,” said Victoria Tylinski, vice president of marketing at Imperial Supplies. “We are proud to continue this tradition in partnership with Brown County United Way. Reading is foundational to education and we are happy to provide books to the students at Howe Elementary School to help these young learners develop a passion for reading.”

Teachers at Howe Elementary handpicked the books for the students based on each class’s interests. Many of the most popular books among the students are newer ones. These newer stories feature diverse characters, settings, and storylines to which the students can relate.

“Education is one of our pillars of success,” said Robyn Davis, Brown County United Way president, and CEO. “Reading is a core component of educational success. We believe every child should have the opportunity to pick up a book, flip through its pages and see themselves as a part of the story. With even just one book, children can see their identities represented which can help them understand their value to their communities and unlock possibilities.”

Most of the books were purchased from Lions Mouth Bookstore, a locally owned bookstore in downtown Green Bay.

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“We really wanted to get some books that represented more students, more of what our community looks like and students typically don’t get to see themselves that often in the books that they’re reading,” said Jamila Seaton, a volunteer with United Way when speaking to Local 5 News.

For more information about the Howe Elementary Community School, click here.