That’s all it takes to immunize 1 child against summer slide. 12 books or $24.

Our 72,000 book goal just got a little easier (we hope): Books for Keeps was just approved as a Scholastic Literacy partner, which means we can buy new, popular books for $1-$2 each. The books the kids want most run closer to $2, which means for $24 we can buy approximately 12 current, popular books – and 1 more child will be less likely to fall prey to the summer slide in 2011.

Why 12 books? In the most recent study on preventing summer slide, children who were given 12 books each on the last day of school grew their achievement levels at a rate comparable to attending summer school. We’re targeting 6,000 elementary school children, the majority of whom qualify for the free/reduced-fee lunch program, a poverty indicator.

Small numbers like that make our lofty goal seem more achievable. Can you send 12 books or $24? If so, you’re blocking summer slide for 1 child here in Athens. Collect at your office, tell your friends and neighbors.

Send your books or donations to Books for Keeps at PO Box 49761 Athens, GA 30604. If you’d like your donation to be tax deductible, make your check payable to Family Connection and put Books for Keeps in the memo line. They’ll earmark the funds for us, and we’ll use it to buy books.

12 books or $24. Spread the word.