By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Democratic National Convention Host Committee closes the last chapter of its successful summer run, DNC organizers are helping thousands of Philadelphia school children open up new books.

At Ludlow Elementary School at 6th and Master Streets, the DNC Host Committee gave its $750,000 surplus as a donation to the Right Books Campaign.

“We hoped to leave something behind that would have lasting impact,” said former Governor Rendell, who chaired the Host Committee.

Rendell says it’s targeted to improve early literacy rates in children K-through-third grade in the Philadelphia School District.

“Read by 4th is one of the slogans of the campaign,” Rendell said.

Mayor Jim Kenney notes sadly, only half of all 8-year-old children in the city read at grade level.

“We know what the following narrative consists of embarrassment, frustration, dropping out, and then, turning to the streets,” the mayor said.

Ludlow Principal Carol Williams is thrilled that her 300 kids will have books at their “independent reading level.”

“So that they’re not struggling,” Williams said, “they feel comfortable about reading and they want to read.”

Superintendent Dr. William Hite says they’ll be able to buy nearly 80,000 new books for 150 classrooms across the city.