PEORIA -- A Peoria non-profit called "Look! It's My Book" is putting books in the hands of District 150's young students. After just five years, it's on target to give away nearly 60,000 books.
It's a good day for students at Roosevelt Magnet School.
Thanks to Janet Roth and her team of more than 200 volunteers, 3,000 district 150 students are bringing home six brand new books a year.
Roth said it was an idea that stemmed from a little inspiration. She said, "I read about two women who gave six books a year to a district that was under performing in national tests. They went from under performing to above the national norm."
Roth said the program gives away about 24,000 books a year. She has a book buying team, that takes donations and partners with sponsors to buy books at a cheaper cost. Then every month, they make the rounds to local schools to pass them out.
During a school visit, students get to choose from more than 500 books. According to the National Children's Reading Group, getting to pick out their own book is a child's biggest motivator.
Roosevelt Principal Jamie Brown said not only does it motivate them, it boosts their confidence. "I think it makes them feel important. It's like it's something that's theirs. They get to take care of, they don't have to give it back and it gives them a sense of 'hey, I get something and I get to keep it.' It's mine and it makes them feel really important."
Brown said the results are showing, and for Roth, she plans to keep giving and keep growing.
Roth said, "We will make them a success. When they learn to read they will succeed and I think that's critically important for our community."
If you want to donate your dollars or your time to the organization visit their website, www.lookitsmybook.org. $15 will buy a first grade student six books.