GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Over 20,000 free books were handed out this afternoon in Greenville. Cars full of parents and teachers lined up Albemarle Avenue waiting to get a box full of books.

A nonprofit, First Book, provides new books and educational resources for a reduced rate to schools and programs serving kids in need. A parent and Teacher Assistant say reading is critical for young children.

“As parents we are supposed to help educators. I believe teachers are not in this alone, parents and teachers are supposed to come together and um assist with a child’s learning,” said Simone Davis.

Children who have not developed basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 to 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.