Realizing our community needed access to books they could buy, we launched Kids Town Books in the Warren Antiques, Warren in October of 2018.
When children have access to books, their lives change in many ways. They are able to view the world from new perspectives, connect with characters, and explore topics of interest. In order to foster the skills to become a reader, students need access to developmentally appropriate and engaging literature.
Giving children the power to choose what they read is critical. When my students were given the opportunity to pick out a book of their very own, they were absolutely ecstatic! This program also provided myself as a teacher with a better understanding of the interests of my students, and how I can better implement said interests into the classroom.
Read to Keep
Our Signature Program
“You mean I get to keep this book? That it is mine?
That is the number one question we hear.
Children are shocked to learn that the book they select is theirs to keep. Books cost money. Over 2/3 of our children have no money for books. They are accustomed to going without. Even when other children are stacked high with books.
We are always looking for volunteers who can have a direct impact on Free Books for Kids Town programs.
HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE
Providing your expertise and access to our program participants
Organizing your group to complete a day service project
Giving your time on a more regular basis as part of our events planning, young professionals, or business advisory committees.
The driving question of our work
What would happen in a rural county if all children has access to free books of their choice. Not just any books, but books that they wanted?
The spark to start Free Books for Kids Town was research. Specifically, the research by Dr. Anne McGill Franzen of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who showed the importance of choice in motivating children to become better readers. This research was reinforced by the work of Dt. Mariah Evans of the University of Nevada at Reno who found that the biggest predictor of a child’s academic success was not family income, nor the father’s educational level, but the number of books in the home. This was especially true for children from families with less financial resources.
With our start in May 2011 at Tidioute Community Charter School, we officially launched in December of that year at the annual Christmas Walk in downtown Warren, Pennsylvania. Wanted to be sure that all children had books, we launched our Books for Babies+ program in the October 2015.