Community partnerships boost literacy efforts in Washougal schools

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category icon Latest News, Schools, Washougal

Washougal School District elementary students have benefitted from several local early-literacy programs this winter. 

Read Northwest, a Clark County-based nonprofit organization that endeavors to promote early childhood literacy in Southwest Washington, hosted book giveaway events for students in the first, second, and third grades at Hathaway Elementary, Columbia River Gorge Elementary, and Gause Elementary School earlier this year. Every student chose one free book to take home from the hundreds of options set up in a book fair-style display at the event.

“Our goal is to not only foster a love for reading among children but also to ensure that every child has access to the resources they need to build their literacy skills,” said Anna Paul, Washougal Schools Volunteer Coordinator with Read Northwest. We want every student to have the chance to own a book they’re excited about.” 

Gause Boosters Club volunteers organized a fundraiser to replace lost, stolen or damaged books from the Gause Elementary library earlier this year. The initiative reflects the community’s investment in childhood literacy and commitment to ensuring that students have access to a wide range of reading materials, according to a news release. 

In December  2023, the Camas-Washougal Rotary donated books to third-grade students across Camas and Washougal elementary schools. More than 30 classrooms received a basket containing 25 reading-level books and a dictionary. The initiative, funded primarily through the annual Ducky Derby and supplemented by ongoing rotary donations, “fosters a culture of reading among early learners” and “helps to provide Washougal kids with a greater variety of reading materials, encouraging students to find new passions and interests through reading,” according to the news release.