LAS VEGAS -- A southern Nevada literacy group is on a mission to get as many kids as possible to read.
They say children who read perform better in school, but getting access to books isn't always easy for every family. There are children who don't have books at home because their families cannot afford it.
For the last 13 years, a local nonprofit has stepped up to fill this gap, and it says its efforts are paying off.
On Wednesday, the gym at Vegas Verdes Elementary School was filled with cheers and smiles as about 500 students received their free books.
It is all part of a community effort spearheaded by Spread the Word Nevada, a nonprofit that partners with local businesses to raise funds to provide books for local students.
"If you can't read, you can't learn. It is the basis for everything," executive director and co-founder Lisa Habighorst said.