A partnership of The United Way of the Lowcountry, Pi Beta Phi, the Public Library Foundation of Beaufort County, and the Beaufort County School District will provide nearly 10,000 free books to children this summer as part of a new program called The Book Drop Extravaganza.

The program was designed to get books into the hands of children and encourage them to read.

“Becoming a stronger reader is achieved through practice, just like becoming better at sports or an instrument,” said Melissa Murray, English Language Arts coordinator for Beaufort County School District. “The more you practice, the better you become. Our goal is to spread fun and joy around reading. Think of the fun, having so many children reading the same book at the same time.”

The program started June 22 and continues through Aug. 2, providing free books including picture books and chapter books will be available for students throughout Beaufort County. Remaining books are: July 13-July 19, “Dragon Pearl”; July 20-July 26, “Elephant & Piggie: Elephants Can’t Dance”; and July 27-Aug. 2, “The Red Hat.”

Nearby sites include Bluffton Middle School meal drop from 9 a.m. to noon; the Lending Libraries at Okatie Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary; and Bluffton Branch Library.

Each Monday morning, books will be dropped off at each of the sites and will be available until they run out. There will also be enrichment activities, book readings, and more to go along with each book on United Way of the Lowcountry’s website at uwlowcountry.org/book-drop-extravaganza.