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It might surprise you how many children in low-income families have no books in their homes.
Kids who are readers can achieve success and go for their dreams, but it is difficult to become a reader without having ready access to books. A person who helps a child become a reader is truly a hero.
You can be a hero by participating in Halloween Read and Treat, a national event that marks the beginning of a movement to get kids excited about reading by giving away books on Halloween. Hosted by individuals, businesses, libraries, churches, and non-profit organizations, it focuses on giving children and youth, regardless of their economic backgrounds, the gift of great entertainment and knowledge that can be obtained in a single book.
Halloween Read and Treat is the brainstorm of Ruby Wiles, the founder/director of its sponsoring organization Allegheny Creations, a social enterprise, and of Free Books for Kids Town, a Warren, PA, non-profit formed to help children achieve success and go for their dreams.
As Halloween Read and Treat’s website says, a book is a gift that keeps on giving because “no amount of candy in the world can match against the amount of knowledge and inspiration a child can obtain from a single book.”
For anyone who would like to take part, Wiles has some suggestions.
The first step is to visit your town’s thrift shops and library used book sales. “You’ll be delighted to learn how many children’s books you can buy for very little money,” Wiles says. “And kids are just as excited to get a used book in good condition as they are a new one.”
Wiles advises that the most important thing is to let the kids choose their own books. Rather than by reading level, organize books in boxes by categories like sports, non-fiction, believe-it-or-not, books with gross facts, war/history, cars and transportation, princess books or those with girl heroines, and board books for little ones. After receiving their treat, let your trick-or-treaters choose their own books.
To take the next step, for a modest fee you can join this national movement promoting literacy. You will receive an information sheet on preparing for Halloween and an emailed poster that shows you are participating in the kick-off year of Halloween Read or Treat. You will also have your efforts included in a national report and can have your address listed on the website to get publicity for your efforts.
You can sign up online at halloweenreadandtreat.weebly.com or simply send your name, street address, email address, and check payable to Allegheny Creations ($7.99 for individuals, $25 for non-profits, $100 for businesses) to Allegheny Creations, P.O. Box 555, Warren, PA 16365.
For more information on Halloween Read and Treat, visit halloweenreadandtreat.weebly.com.
To learn more about Free Books for Kids Town, visit Facebook at FreeBooksForKidsTown.