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Literacy Mid-South on a mission to get kids reading by providing free books to families in need

You can help the effort by donating for the purchase of new books.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Literacy Mid-South is on a mission to get kids reading, by giving away books to families in need.

The books, bought from First Book for the COVID-19 Book Drive, are being provided in partnership with Shelby County Schools, the YMCA, and City of Memphis community centers.

Tuesday, families who are picking up meals at certain Shelby County Schools meal distribution sites can pick up one book per child at the same time.

The books are available Tuesday at these meal distribution sites:

  • Douglass, 1616 Ash, 38108
  • Ed Rice, 2907 N. Watkins, 38127
  • Gaisman, 4221 Macon, 38122
  • Hickory Hill, 3910 Ridgeway Rd., 38115
  • McFarland, 4955 Cottonwood, 38118
  • Davis Family YMCA, 4727 Elvis Presley Blvd., 38116

Literacy Mid-South says it is also providing books through many other community partners who are helping those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Education is of course important, and there are so many tips and tricks available to parents who are juggling homeschooling with everything else that must be done in a day,” says Knox Shelton, Executive Director for Literacy Mid-South. “We recognize that parents may feel the stress of coping with children at home, so we want to emphasize the importance of slowing down, reading a book with your kid, and making lasting family memories in the midst of this difficult moment in time.”

“The YMCA and our partners are committed to educational support for children in our community and we are excited that Literacy Mid-South will be able get books in the hands of children and get them reading while they are out of school,” said Jerry Martin, President & CEO of YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South. “Thanks to the vision set by Shelby County Schools and the aid of our partner organizations, we have distributed over 170,000 meals with capacity to serve 2 million meals this summer. Being able to provide them with a book is no doubt an added asset to the program. We would like to add our encouragement to Memphians to donate to the Literacy Mid-South book drive to make sure that we can continue to provide books to children through this program!”

“With everything happening around us, the gift of reading is even more important for our young people,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “The ability to read is critical for so many things in our lives and can give us the ability to transform the world around us into a magical place through words written on a page. We’re happy to partner with Literacy Mid-South and the YMCA to make this happen.”

You can help by donating to Literacy Mid-South HERE.

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