PATERSON, NJ  – While staying apart has been the standard practice since March, a new partnership among the Paterson Public School District, Paterson Reads, and the Bookends Bookstore of Ridgewood is once again putting credence behind Superintendent Eileen Shafer’s motto “Together we can.”

On Wednesday, Shafer announced the launch of the “Summer Reading Book Bundles” program, an effort to make it easy for people to donate new books to district students in grades kindergarten through the eighth grade. Through the program anyone can purchase bundles of up to six books online from the Bookends Bookstore that will then be delivered to Paterson students every week.

Each bundle contains books that have been specially selected for each grade level with the help of Paterson Free Public Library librarians and are sold by grade level at the Bookends Bookstore website with the store’s teachers discount applied.

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“This is a fantastic way to have a direct positive impact on a Paterson Public Schools student,” Shafer said, thanking Paterson Reads, the Paterson Education Fund, the Paterson Alliance, the Paterson Free Public Library, and Bookends Bookstore for making the initiative possible. “By purchasing a Summer Reading Book Bundle, a donor can help keep a Paterson Public Schools student reading and learning in a way that doesn’t involve more time on a computer. 

Both Rosie Grant, Executive Director of Paterson Education Fund, and Paterson Alliance Executive Director Inge Spungen praised Bookends for their support of Paterson children, and reading with Spungen saying that while Paterson Reads and the Paterson Public Library have been already been leaders in efforts to get local students reading at grade level, “this is another teamwork effort that will continue that great tradition.”

“We are so thrilled to be working with the Paterson Public School District and Paterson Reads on this important campaign,” said Pat & Walter Boyer, owners of Bookends Bookstore. “During these unprecedented times, we wanted to help bring support to the students of Paterson.  With thousands of students in the Paterson Public School District, we could not think of a better program than to give the gift of summer reading. This initiative is designed to bring back some normalcy to students’ lives and to share the joy of reading.  Let’s show the students of Paterson that we care by supporting them through this campaign.”

“During a time when our scholars need us the most, this summer partnership allows us to get books in their hands,” said Paterson Free Public Library Director Corey Fleming. “It allows us to prevent against the summer slide and engages our young readers to be prepared for the upcoming school year.”

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