It's widely believed a child's reading skills are essential to their success in school, work, and life in general.
A new program is helping Maine's children improve their reading abilities, one book at a time.
"Dirigo Reads" kicked off Thursday at Brewer Community School.
The program aims to put a brand-new book in the hands of every Maine first-grader each month of the school year.
Next month, "Dirigo Reads" will begin distributing books to schools in six Maine communities stretching from Caribou to Castine.
Organizers hope to eventually be sending books to every first-grader in the state by 2025.
"Thinking about the number of students that they're going to reach and those library's those students might have at home, it's going to be a range of how many books each child has at home, but this is going to give them even more books to choose from to read and increase that love of reading," said Heather Corbett.
Any schools with first-grade classes that would like to join the program can find more details at www.dirigoreads.org.