Thursday, August 27, 2015

Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”

Soar with Reading
Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”
Good: 8.19.2015 by Susan Johnston

“Food deserts" refer to low-income areas where convenience stores are often the only viable food source and fresh produce is a rarity. But nutritious foods aren't the only thing kids need to thrive and grow.

Many of these undernourished kids also live in so-called "book deserts"—areas without easy access to libraries and reading material to nurture their imaginations and development (just think of the 12-year-old boy in Utah who asked his mailman for junk mail to read because he couldn't get to a library).
To combat these problems, creative-thinking librarians and literacy supporters are using inventive solutions to expand access to books and promote a love of reading.

In the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Soar with Reading (a project of JetBlue Airlines) installed book vending machines to dispense 100,000 brand-new free books in three locations for kids ages 0-14. Soar with Reading is now accepting votes for its next city, with Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in the running.

Outside the U.S., Book Bus delivers accessible and relevant books to children in Africa, Asia, and South America. So far, the charity has reached over 10,000 kids in Zambia, Malawi and Ecaudor [sic], with the goal of reaching 10,000 more kids by 2016.  READ MORE !

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