The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) has created a new literacy program called CLiF's Year of the Book that will benefit the students of Newbury Elementary School and five other elementary schools in New Hampshire and Vermont over the 2012-2013 academic year.

CLiF's Year of the Book provides more than $20,000 in children's literacy events, support, and brand-new books to each school for one school year. In addition, every child in the participating schools will be able to select and keep 10 new books. The first event of the program will be the Year of the Book Kick-off at the school on Sept. 26, 6-7:30 .p.m, and it will include a 30-minute storytelling session by CLiF's Duncan McDougall as well as the first free book giveaway for NES students.

The program is designed to supplement existing literacy programs at schools that have a significant percentage of students who score below state standards on reading and writing tests. Schools also must have a high number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

NES grant coordinator Kim Goody explains, "Students and staff will benefit greatly from extended classroom and workshop time with Vermont writers and illustrators, plus each student receiving 10 free books throughout the course of the year generates a lot of excitement for reading." NES librarian Cathy Kidder wrote the grant before her retirement last year.

The new yearlong program is part of a new CLiF initiative to excite kids about reading and give them reasons to do it on their own for fun. Working directly with the students, school staff, and parents, CLiF hopes to make reading a part of each child's everyday life.

"Until recently, CLiF offered programs on an individual basis," said CLiF program director Suzanne Loring. "We hope to have a greater positive impact on children by engaging them more regularly with a variety of activities and literacy support."

CLiF is a non-profit organization with a mission to nurture a love of reading and writing among children throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. CLiF has provided inspiring literacy programs and free, brand-new books to more than 130,000 low-income, at-risk, and rural young readers and writers in almost 400 communities across the Twin States.

Additionally, Newbury Elementary School and Tenney Memorial libraries will each receive $1,000 worth of new books to add interest and depth to their shelves. "2013 is a year of celebrations in Newbury," NES principal Chance Lindsley adds. "The town celebrates its 250th anniversary, the school turns 100, and now the Year of the Book. It is going to be a very special year to live and learn in Newbury."

CLiF does not receive any federal or state funds for its programs. It relies solely on the generosity of individuals, local companies and foundations. To find out more about CLiF or make a donation, please visit www.clifonline.org or contact CLiF executive director Duncan McDougall at 802-244-0944 or clif@clifonline.org.

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