Giving Thanks for Halloween Read and Treat

Halloween Read and Treat is aimed at getting more books into the homes of kids. These Halloweeners made their choices when they visited St. John's Lutheran Church in Warren, Pennsylvania.
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Allegheny Creations

“With the wonderful success of the 2023 Halloween Read and Treat, we have more than usual to be thankful for this year!”

That was how Ruby Wiles, who created and promotes this unique take on trick or treating, described the impact of a program designed to promote reading.

The Warren, Pennsylvania, resident is founder/director of Allegheny Creations, a social enterprise, and of Free Books for Kids Town, a non-profit whose mission is children’s literacy and education, with the goal of providing books that match children’s interests and spark their love of learning.

At Halloween Read and Treat locations, kids can choose a free book when they receive their Halloween treat. This year, in three states at 10 locations—including a library, churches and private homes—over 1,000 children were given more than 1,000 books of their own choosing.

Wiles says most people would be surprised how many kids don’t have any books of their own.

“it’s important that children make their own choices. It doesn’t really matter what they’re reading: A comic book is as good as a classic to inspire them to become readers,” she explains. “Children who are readers can achieve success and go for their dream. But it is difficult to become a reader without having ready access to books.”

Wiles believes, “A book is a gift that keeps on giving: No amount of candy can compete with the amount of knowledge and inspiration a child can obtain from a single book – Read and Treat is perfectly suited for wherever children are on halloween!”

Looking to 2024, any individual, business or organization that would like to become an official participant in Halloween Read and Treat, a registered trademark of Allegheny Creations, can contact Wiles at HalloweenReadAndTreat@gmail.com for guidance on how to get started, the importance of letting children choose their own books, and more.