“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,” says Warren, Pa., resident Ruby Wiles.
Wiles is the 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.
2023 marks 11 years that Wiles has shared her passion for bringing books to kids through Halloween Read and Treat, a registered trademark of Allegheny Creations.
At Halloween Read and Treat locations, kids can choose a free book when they receive their Halloween treat. Read and Treat happens at these locations in Warren, Pa., and Jamestown, N.Y., on Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, 2023:
- 3 Redwood Street, Warren, 5:30–7:30. Come before it gets too dark; it’s hard to see books in the dark.
- First Lutheran Church Trick or Treat, Third and East Streets, Warren, 6–8 p.m.
- St. John’s Lutheran Church Trick or Treat, 200 Pleasant Drive, Warren, 5–7 p.m.
- Warren Public Library, 205 Market Street, Warren, 4–7 p.m.
- 3 Barker Street, Jamestown, 6–8 p.m.
- Unitarian Church, 1255 Prendergast Avenue, Jamestown, 6–8 p.m., with free books for teens and adults as well.
A special Sensory Friendly Trick or Treat organized by Heroes-Warren will be held at Holy Redeemer Church, 11 Russell Street in Warren, on Saturday, October 28, 12–2 p.m. The free books are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Warren.
“Most people would be surprised how many kids don’t have any books of their own,” says Wiles. “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.”
Recognizing that the local community needed access to books they could buy, in 2018 Free Books for Kids Town launched Kids Town Books inside of Warren Antiques, the Second Hand Exchange building at 306 2nd Avenue in downtown Warren.
Any individual, business or organization that would like to become an official participant in Halloween Read and Treat 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.