OMAK – Students at East Omak Elementary School got to pick out free summer reading books before classes dismissed for the summer June 12.

East librarian Vicky O’Dell asked community groups during winter and spring for donations so students would be able to take books home with them this summer.

In a letter sent home to parents of students she wrote that children who don’t read over the summer tend to lose reading skills prior to the start of the next school year.

The situation is known as the “summer slide.” On average, a lack of reading over the summer can result in a reading skill decline by two to three months.

Donors responded with 1,000 books and enough money to purchase another 1,000 books. Major contributors include Omak-Okanogan Civic League, Evergreen Home Loans, Okanogan-Omak Rotary Club, Chapter 2 Chapter and Patricia Blue.

Every student in the school was able to take home four books each. They also signed thank you cards.

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