SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah students from kindergarten to third grade could be eligible for free books sent to them by mail thanks to a new five-year program.

Through the program, free books will be mailed directly to the students’ homes, each with four reading activities that promote parent-student engagement and discussion. The goal is to encourage students to pick up good reading habits during the summer months in an effort to raise reading scores for children across Utah.

Parents can also opt-in for reading reminders through text messages or push notifications.

“We are excited for this partnership as a way to provide our kindergarten through third-grade students and their families with books they can engage with in their homes. Books help open the door to a child’s imagination and build new knowledge and experiences of the world,” said Utah’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Sydnee Dickson. “What a great opportunity for Utah’s families.”

Students in the third grade or younger attending a Title 1 school or a school that is part of the Partnerships for Student Success Grant Program are eligible to participate in the free book program.

According to the Utah Office of the State Auditor, a Title 1 school is a school with a high percentage of students from families with low incomes. Title 1 schools receive federally-funded supplementary funds to help students meet state academic standards.

The Partnerships for Student Success Grant Program was established in May 2022. Its goal was to improve educational outcomes for low-income students.

The program is thanks to a new partnership between the Utah State Board of Education and Kids Read Now, a nonprofit program dedicated to getting kids to read more during the summer.