"Author in Hand" Program Provides Free Books to Students

The love of reading is alive and well at Springs School!  At last week's Book Fair, thanks to a donation from the Greater East Hampton Education Foundation, each student was able to pick out a book for free. The "Author in Hand" program provides free books to students in grades K through eighth in schools from Montauk to Sagaponack. Since 2004, the GEHEF has given away books valued at over $50,000. The program originally included John Marshall elementary school and East Hampton Middle School only, but was extended to Springs, Montauk, Sagaponack, and Wainscott schools in 2009. The Foundations's goal is to "encourage reading, writing, and to provide every student with books for summer reading."  

"On top of all the books the children got to bring home, the P.T.A. gifted around $1,000 worth of books to our school and classroom libraries for all to share," said Sema Mendelman. The last Book Fair of the year also featured the "Buy One Get One Free" special where each student received a free book for every one purchased. According to Mrs. Mendelman, this translates into "nearly half a million (495,540) reading minutes, which is a 31% increase in reading minutes as compared to last spring." The Book Fair also featured undersea artwork by kindergarten and first grade students, which were made into beautiful banners by the eighth graders to set the tone for the theme, "Explore an Ocean of Books."