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During the month of December, the Adams and Reese Baton Rouge office held a collection to purchase books for the new “Reading Friends” program started by Volunteers In Public Schools, an East Baton Rouge public school project under the EveryBody Reads program.

A donation check was presented on behalf of Adams and Reese to Tony Pryer, Volunteers in Public Schools EveryBody Reads Coordinator.

Each new reading friend gets a welcome package and included in the package is one book to start them off. The books for the EveryBody Reads program are purchased through Wilbooks, a web site offering quality books to educators in an effort to improved child literacy.

This school year, East Baton Rouge teachers listed 1,466 students in grades K-3 in need of Reading Friend volunteers. Reading Friends work one-on-one with a student throughout the school year to improve reading skills. Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) is striving to meet this challenge through its EveryBody Reads program. So far, VIPS has matched 564 students with Reading Friends, leaving 902 students on the waiting list in need of individualized reading help. This is a great opportunity for East Baton Rouge students as most of them are reading below their grade level before starting the program.

The donation drive was part of the Adams and Reese HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving and Support) employee volunteer and corporate philanthropy program, which donates financial resources and volunteer hours to more than 200 community organizations in need across the law firm's regional footprint in seven states.