Adapt the family reading fair concept in other settings where families lack books at home.
What, then, is the family reading fair concept? It is simply sharing books with children who lack books at home in the best way possible. In some settings, it means families receiving a new bookcase and bags of new and used books. In other settings, it is just one new book. Just one.
Ashley Magers is a student at the North East campus of Tarrant Community College in Hurst, Texas. She is president of Psi Beta, a service club under the direction of Shewanda Riley (Literacy Connexus board member). Last Saturday Ashley and two other students sorted books at the Literacy Connexus book bank at Western Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth. They left with six hundred books for distribution at an elementary school in Grapevine, Texas. Last year the group distributed 800 books at an elementary school in Haltom City. Ashley recalled the excitement of the children who received the books, who were delighted when told they got to keep them!
LaVerne Moore volunteers at WestAid – a food pantry in Fort Worth. She and her husband have a passion for sharing books. They search out books to give to families who come to WestAid looking for food: something for the soul as well as the stomach.
Carol Prevost is a retired educator in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and former Literacy Connexus board member. Her idea to share books helped spark Books for the Border several years ago. Now she leads her church to collect books for distribution at a local homeless shelter.
According to RIF (Reading is Fundamental): Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home, and the number of families living in poverty is on the rise. Many public and school libraries are being forced to close or reduce their operating hours. Children who do not have access to books and do not read regularly are among the most vulnerable Americans.
The Literacy Connexus website provides guidelines for sharing and sorting used books. Our hope is that you will find ways in your community to share books with children at risk. And share those ways with us, please.