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Scholastic will donate 1 million books for kids in poverty

Scholastic will donate 1 million books to Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit that gives free books to children living in poverty, the publisher announced Monday.

Scholastic, which brought Harry Potter to American readers, is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. It plans to donate paperbacks and board books to the nonprofit, in English and Spanish.

Some of the Spanish titles include "Abuelo Y Los Tres Osos" ("Abuelo and the Three Bears"), "¡Vamos A Comer!" ("Let's Eat!"), and "¿Cómo ordenan sus habitaciones los dinosaurios?" ("How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?")

There will also be books in Spanish and English featuring everyone's favorite big red dog: "Clifford Y La Hora Dormir" or "Clifford's Bedtime," and "Clifford Y Los Opuestos," or "Clifford's Opposites."

Studies have shown that poor children are far likelier than their wealthier peers to be behind in reading skills. Being read to by an adult at home increases children's literacy, but kids in poor families are less frequently read to and are less likely to have books at home. Nonprofits seeking to help kids living in poverty improve their reading skills try to get books into their hands and homes.

Reach Out and Read's method is to provide books at the doctors' offices where kids are taken for regular checkups and vaccinations. Participating doctors and nurses even talk about the importance of reading aloud.

Reach Out and Read will distribute the donated books through more than 12,000 healthcare providers nationwide.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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