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New! Books & Bites - Free Books for Students


Students Now Get a Free Reading Book Each Week When Picking Up Weekly Meals


DEDHAM, MA (July 28, 2021)-  Dedham Public Schools today launched a new 4-week program designed to provide Dedham students of all ages with new, free reading books this summer.   The program, developed by Dedham school librarians and coordinated in partnership with the DPS Food Services department, will provide families with the opportunity to pick up free books each week during weekly free meal distribution times.   The program, funded by a grant from the Dedham Education Foundation, begins today, Wednesday, July 28th and runs through Wednesday, August 18, 2021. 


“We wanted to find a way to remove the barriers to reading materials for students,” notes Wendy Garland, one of the Dedham Public School librarians leading this initiative. “By making book acquisition part of the weekly routine, we can reinforce to families that reading is as important to the mind as food is to the body.”


Books are available for students of all reading levels and ages, as well as in multiple languages.  Each week, students can choose a free book from the offerings.  The Books & Bites project aims to distribute high quality books that reflect a variety of cultures across a multitude of reading levels, interest areas, and languages.  The titles were chosen by DPS librarians to best meet the needs of the Dedham community.     The vision is that these books will help supplement books borrowed from the local library, as well as add books to the home collections of students, as the books do not need to be returned.


Last summer, Dedham Public School Food Services provided free meals and food supplies to over 500 students each week.  This year, an average of 350 students are taking advantage of the free food program.   The new Books & Bites program hopes that each of these students will now be able to take home a new reading book each week as well.    


Students and families can participate by visiting the DPS Food Pick Up on Wednesdays from 10:00am - 12:30pm at Avery Elementary School, 336 High Street, in Dedham.   The Books & Bites project will run until August 18th, or until the books run out.