(WXYZ) — At schools like Cruthers Elementary in Warren, book fairs can be bittersweet. Students who don't have the money have to walk out empty-handed.
But on Wednesday, every student got to walk away with a handful of books for free as part of the WXYZ Give a Child a Book campaign.
It took a while for Ms. Julia Carlesso's second-grade class to realize the books they are plucking for the shelves are theirs to keep for good.
"All of the sudden it clicked and they started screeching and squealing," she said.
The excitement is music to teachers' ears as they try to get children caught up from nearly two years of virtual schooling.
Thanks to the Give A Child A Book Campaign with the Scripps Howard Foundation, each student left the school with five books catered to their reading level.
Last year, students went home with a pre-selected bag of books, but this year, they got to pick what interested them.
It didn't take long for Nico Jackson to select his pile.
"This book is probably going to be my favorite because I love space and it's probably going to teach me more about space," he said.
Scooby Doo and Trolls also made the cut, some of Nico's favorite movies to watch with his family. But now, he plans to turn off the TV.
"I really don't have many books at home and when I have new books, I like to read new books, and when I read new books, I learn about stuff," Nico said.
Principal Matt Provost said the books are building blocks to a student's success in school.
"Reading unlocks the whole curriculum – everything they learn from kindergarten through 5th grade.