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Company With Reno Ties Launches Massive Book Giveaway

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According to the Children’s Literacy Foundation, nearly 70 percent of America’s fourth graders aren’t reading at a proficient level. A digital company with ties to Reno is giving away a billion ebooks to get more kids reading. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.

The Little Red Hen. Hansel and Gretal. The Farmer in the Dell. These are just a few ebooks families can choose to download for free. Bay Area company Ustyme creates digital content and is giving away 50 books to every family through its Billion eBook Gift campaign.

Company co-founder Linda Salesky says digital books provide another way to read.

“I never want to take away the value  of a real book in a child’s hands," she explains. "There’s something really magical about turning that page.”

The company has deep ties to Reno’s Startup Row

“Some of the people that we wanted to work with, in terms of engineers, were living here and really didn’t want to move back to the Bay Area,” Salesky says.

Earlier this week, while visiting a Washoe County school, Governor Brian Sandoval commended the Billion eBook Gift initiative as a way to improve literacy.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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