State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-16th, is collecting books to distribute to local children in an effort to help students maintain achievement gains made during the school year.

"Research shows that daily reading is one of the best ways to combat the summer slide and narrow the achievement gap, but so many children have no age-appropriate books to read at home," Zwicker said. "Giving children the gift of a book to call their own is a small gesture that can improve literacy among young people and make our community stronger."

Book donations appropriate for students in kindergarten through grade 12 will be accepted through July 6 at Zwicker's legislative district office, located at 23 Orchard Road, Skillman, NJ 08858.

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New books are preferred, but gently used books also will be accepted. Questions regarding the book drive may be directed to Zwicker's office at 609-454-3147. 

Collection bins also will be available at certain local library locations. Interested parties may contact Zwicker's office for details regarding dropping books off at a library. 

"Reading introduces young people to innovative ideas, feeding their innate curiosity and prompting a desire to learn even more," said Zwicker. "All children deserve the opportunity to explore new worlds, challenge themselves and tap into their full potential through the pages of a book."