Ford Motor Company Fund, First Book to give 10,000 new books to North Texas schools

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Today, Ford Motor Company Fund brings the Ford Driving Dreams reading party to inspire the love of reading to second-grade students at Obadiah Knight Elementary School. The reading party is being held by Ford Fund as part of the Ford Driving Dreams program and, in collaboration with the nonprofit First Book, will donate 10,000 new books to 100 schools in North Texas. Ford Fund representatives and Ford dealers will be among the volunteer readers at the event.

“Education will always be a priority for Ford,” said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. “We want to empower our youngest learners to reach their full potential. What better way of doing this than by inspiring our children to read and develop their imagination through learning and books.”

Ford Driving Dreams was designed by Ford Motor Company Fund to motivate students to help youth stay in school and pursue higher education. The Early Childhood Education Report by the Dallas Independent School District shows that in 2014, only 45 percent of children attending second grade in Texas scored above grade level in reading. Nationally, research shows that in some low-income communities, there is only one book per 300 children. Through Ford Fund, 50,000 new books will have been delivered to children in need in Detroit, Houston, North Texas and South Florida by the end of 2016.

“The Ford Driving Dreams reading party is such a special occasion for our school and the entire North Texas community. Our students will be reminded about how important reading is to help them excel and reach their academic dreams,” said Enrique Escobedo, principal at Obadiah Knight Elementary School.

Knight students attending today’s reading party will participate in a series of fun motivational activities and will receive a copy of the book Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty.

“Having access to books is one of the biggest predictors of a child’s academic success,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO, First Book. “By collaborating with Ford Motor Company Fund, we’re helping level the playing field for kids who too often go without these critical educational resources. We’re proud to join Ford Fund and local Ford dealers to donate 10,000 new books to kids in North Texas.”

Launched in 2012, the program has reached more than 75,000 students in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Texas. To date, the Ford Driving Dreams program has invested over $3 million in education programs and awareness initiatives reaching more than 14,000 students in North Texas. In addition to Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Fund educational programs include Ford Blue Oval Scholars Ford Blue Oval Scholarships, Ford Freedom Award, Ford STEAM Lab, hackathons and Detroit career academies. For more information, visit www.forddrivingdreams.com.

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