photo of Scripps building in Cincinnati

Scripps Howard Foundation’s book giveaway surpasses 500,000 total books

May 11, 2021 By Rebecca McCarter

In support of its mission to create a better-informed world through journalism education and childhood literacy, the Scripps Howard Foundation marked its 500,000th book giveaway this week in a special celebration with Scripps-owned local television station WEWS in Cleveland.

The “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign is an annual fundraising initiative led by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP). The campaign is supported by Scripps employees, members of the Scripps family and the general public.

Scholastic estimates that over time, a child will devote about three hours to reading and re-reading each new book received, logging crucial minutes developing and practicing reading skills. Since its launch in 2016, the campaign has generated in excess of 90 million reading minutes through its donation of more than 500,000 new books to economically at-risk children who live in communities served by Scripps businesses.

Each year, Scripps TV stations and national television networks partner with Title I schools and nonprofit organizations in their communities to provide books to children who need them most. Books are purchased at a discount through a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, further maximizing the purchasing power of every donated dollar.

This year, WEWS partnered with Wade Park Elementary School. On Monday, children at the school took home a total of 1,800 books, including the 500,000th book the Foundation has donated since the campaign’s inception.

The milestone was celebrated with a book fair at the school, where each student took home new books to build up their home reading libraries. As part of the giveaway, the Foundation also will create a designated reading space or “reading oasis” at the school to debut in fall 2021.

“We believe that literacy is a powerful antidote to poverty and a critical step toward creating a better-informed world,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “We’re committed to furthering our mission of giving children the critical literacy tools they need to be successful in school and in life.

“Getting books to these children is especially important in a year when learning losses were exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

During the 2020 campaign, Scripps local TV stations and national television networks hosted multiplatform community fundraising initiatives – including on-air and digital – to encourage their audiences to support the book campaign. The campaign also was supported by the Scripps National Spelling Bee and Simplemost.

The 2021 campaign will kick off in August, but donations are accepted year-round.

About the Scripps Howard Foundation
The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on journalism education, excellence in journalism and childhood literacy. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism and the Foundation’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign has distributed more than 500,000 new books to children in need across the nation since 2017. In support of its mission to create a better-informed world, the Foundation also partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and support impactful organizations to drive solutions that help build thriving communities.

About The E. W. Scripps Company
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As the nation’s fourth-largest local TV broadcaster, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Grit, Laff and Court TV Mystery. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Media Contact:
Kari Wethington, The E. W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763,