Mizzou organization donates 20,000 books to children

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COLUMBIA- Thousands of new books were donated across the country Saturday for Pi Beta Phi's National Fraternity day of Service Signature Event.

"We are giving 20,000 books away to the Columbia community and the whole state of Missouri. So we have groups coming from Lake of the Ozarks, to rural communities all around the area," said Grace Corley, co-chair of the event.

The free books will go to schools and different nonprofit organizations for children who can't afford them. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 25% of children are functionally illiterate. Jill Edwards is the principal of Shepard Boulevard Elementary School in Columbia. She explained why she feels it's important for children to learn how to read.

"The power of literacy is incredible, and for families to be able to share the love of reading and create and foster at that throughout life is so important," Edwards said.

A total of 100,000 books were donated across the country.