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More choices for young Suffolk readers

A Suffolk business recently donated thousands of books to support reading in Suffolk Public Schools.

The UPS Store at Centerbrooke donated nearly 2,000 books, split between Elephant’s Fork Elementary and Hillpoint Elementary schools. These are Scholastic books that range across all elementary school reading levels.

UPS Store Owner Amy Eichelberger presented the books to Elephant’s Fork Principal Jessica Avery and Hillpoint Principal Catherine Pichon at their respective schools on April 26, along with bookmarks for students.

Avery wrote in an email that their portion of the books will provide EFES students with more reading options and “expose them to new ideas and dreams.”

“I am really grateful for the willingness of the community businesses thinking about our students and their success,” she wrote.

The donations are part of The UPS Store at Centerbrooke’s participation in The UPS Store Toys for Tots Literacy Program nationwide, which began in 2008 in partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Stores across the country raise money year-round to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, and out of 5,000 stores across the nation that participated this year, The UPS Store at Centerbrooke ranked 19th in fundraising for the literacy project.

“Reading is a foundation for everything that kids are going to learn,” Eichelberger said at Hillpoint Elementary on Monday. “With The UPS Store partnering with the (Toys for Tots Literacy Program), it affords us the opportunity to raise funds for literacy programs locally, and to keep those funds in our community.”

Hillpoint Principal Catherine Pichon and Reading Specialist Patricia Littlefield were excited for their students not only because these books support the school’s curriculum but also because they give students more freedom in the books they can choose to read.

“Students enjoy reading books that they choose, (and) this helps students become independent readers,” Littlefield wrote in an email. “Independent reading helps students become better readers and discover the fun, adventure and pleasure in reading.”