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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- AR Kids Read, a local initiative that recruits and trains tutors to help Little Rock children with their reading, will distribute more than 7,000 children's books that will reach students in 44 public schools in the area.

The donated books will be displayed at the media center at Booker Elementary where two fourth grade classes will have first pick of the books being offered.

The books will go to students in three school districts: Little Rock School District, North Little Rock School District and Pulaski County Special School District. The distribution of books-donated by major organizations including Reading Is Fundamental-RIF (with support from Macy's), the Arkansas Education Television Network, The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Delta Dental, and Books-A-Million-is part of a larger state-wide effort to ensure children keep up with their learning during the summer and read at grade-level by the end of third grade. Low-income children, who often don't have the opportunity to participate in summer educational activities, are particularly at risk of losing more than two to three months in reading achievement.

AR Kids Read will give out the books in cooperation with its partner organizations and the some 400 tutors from more than 50 community organizations. Leadership Greater Little Rock Alumni volunteers will deliver the books to their respective schools. Tutors are the backbone of the initiative's work, and the event will also feature opportunities on how to get involved.

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