AmeriHealth employees donated their time and books to students at their community partner school, Park Elementary, on Monday as part of a program put together by Volunteers in Public Schools.

Park Principal Em LeBlanc said AmeriHealth has been a great partner for the school over the years, and she hopes to increase the number of community connections with the school as its new principal.

AmeriHealth employees read to first-graders and passed out books to first- through third-graders, along with a bag and other goodies, LeBlanc said.

Jonathon Richard, operations manager for VIPS, said the program, called Building a Legacy, is part of an overall mission to increase the number of age appropriate books for children of all backgrounds.

Statistics show that children who have grade-level appropriate books at home do better academically, and reading over the summer will help keep their grade-level skills fresh for the next school year, he said.

“We gave away about 1,000 books this year, starting with Magnolia Woods and ending here,” Richard said.

“We hope to expand this program during the next school year, and get more community partners on board to sponsor these events.”