Jermaine Bethea, a bus driver in Tempe, Arizona, started a program to make sure all children in his local district went home for the summer with a new book to read.
Bethea, along with a group of his fellow drivers, started with 200 books a few years ago, which they gave out to kids on their routes. The kids were so excited about it that they decided to make it a yearly tradition, and set out with the goal to give a book to every child in the district.
This year, they collected more than 2,000 books, and earlier this week gave out over 600 books to the children at Curry Elementary School in Tempe. Bethea, a father of two, told Fox 10 that his 9-year-old daughter, who has a passion for reading, inspired him.
“It’s a chance for our kids to celebrate the love of literacy and just a shining example of what community business partners and public schools are doing together every day to make a difference in the lives of our kids,” Principal Ken White told Fox 10 News.
Bethea and White both hope that the new books will keep kids excited about reading over summer break.
If you’re cleaning out the house this spring and find yourself with children’s books you no longer need, consider donating them to one of these nonprofit organizations that promote youth literacy.
- Books For Kids: Promotes literacy among all children, with an emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children.
- Little Free Library: Encourages a love for reading by creating neighborhood book exchanges worldwide.
- United Through Reading: Dedicated to connecting military families with their kids at home through the act of reading aloud together.