MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Read Across America Day is a day to celebrate the joys of reading.
This is the third year Communities in Schools of Memphis is partnering with FOX13’s Family Focus to help collect books for students in Shelby County.
“It’s always an exciting time for our students because a lot of a number of FOX13 talent will come to our schools dressed in Dr. Seuss costumes,” Communities in Schools of Memphis Sonji Branch said, "Last year, I would have to give kudos to Mearl Purvis and Jeremy Pierre. They were both amazing. They came in costume and each of them brought their own flair to the stories that they read.
Branch said Communities in Schools strives to empower students to stay in school and succeed in life.
She said access to books opens a world of opportunities for students.
“So, we know when there are opportunities for us to bolster student literacy rates by providing them with books that they can either use in the schools or take home with them,” Branch explained.
“It gives them an opportunity to have a better appreciation of reading.”
FOX13 was able to collect almost 2,000 books in 2019.
This year, FOX13 hopes to exceed that goal.
“Not every child has access to technology,” Branch said.
“Not every child has a tablet that he or she can use to download a book. So, we do have to be mindful of those opportunity gaps and close those gaps where possible.”
Novel Book Store in East Memphis sells a variety of books for kids of all ages and the store is participating with FOX13 for this year’s book drive.
Customers can participate by either dropping off their own gently used books or purchasing a new book at the store.
Novel Marking Manger Nicole Yasinsky said the company is happy to partner with FOX13 for this initiative.
“As booksellers, we are clearly book lovers and we also believe in the power of books to change lives and we believe that reading is a fundamental right and one of the barriers to that right is access to books,” Yasinsky explained.
FOX13 is collecting books through February 28.
Read Across America Day is March 2.
Books can be dropped off at the Novel Book Store located in the Laurelwood Shopping Center off Perkins Rd.