SAN ANTONIO - Teachers and researchers agree that reading opens doors, but San Antonio has a lot of work to do considering the city's low literacy levels. To help address the problem, parents in North East Independent School District's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) are holding a book sale at Littleton Gym in the Blossom Athletic Center.
The book fair raises money for the PTA but also works to promote literacy at home. Featuring more than 90,000 books, the prices are kept low to encourage more reading.
"Paperback books are 50 cents and hardback books are one dollar," PTA President Jennifer Easley said.
It's a small price for a big return in a city where reading levels are suffering annually. According to Central Connecticut State University's study of America's literacy levels, out of the 82 biggest cities in the U.S., San Antonio ranks 76th.
It's critical for students to learn how to read by the third grade, according to experts.
"That's when the child is making the transition from reading fluency, being able to read the text to you, to being able to comprehend the text," said Shannon Cantrell, with SAReads.
Studies show that children who have parents who enjoy reading are six times more likely to enjoy reading, themselves. Cantrell said that literacy can also translate into jobs.
"Every job that you come across are going to require increasingly critical thinking skills and reading skills," Cantrell said. "You have to start developing those skills early on."
The NEISD PTA is encouraging books to help all kids turn a new page in literacy levels.
The book fair will continue Saturday April 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday April 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, families can fill a bag with books for $15.
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