By Brandi Smith
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield first graders graduated to college for a day for the 7th annual Gift of Literacy event.
First graders from all the Springfield elementary schools descended upon Lane Community College.
They were given the gift of a hardbound book as a means to encourage a love of reading.
The event is coordinated by the Springfield School District and Springfield Rotary.
The two organizations privately raise all the funds for the event.
“So our goal is to get those books in the hands of kids. Reading is a gateway skill, and we want them excited about reading from the very beginning,” said Thurston Elementary Principal Shari Furtwangler.
After the kids got their book, they passed them off to local members of the community, who read their new books to them.