Centre County organization to give out free books, hoping to encourage literacy

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BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — One Bellefonte organization is aiming to make reading cool again.

Bellefonte Reads is an organization based in the Bellefonte School District, looking to give quality books to families.

On Thursday, the organization will be giving out free books to families in the Bellefonte area, as part of their “One Book, One Bellefonte” Campaign.

“This year is our 6th annual, it will be this Thursday, from 6-7:30 here at the high school, and at the event, we are featuring our one book for this year which is ‘Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, by Dusty Bowling, it’s a middle grade book about about a 13-year-old girl who is born without arms.”

Jackie Wynkoop, Secondary Literacy Coach, Bellefonte Area School District

In addition to handing out the book “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus,” the organization will also have its sequel, and a picture book for younger students, called “Just Ask.”

Jackie hopes events like this stress how important reading is for children.

“Reading is honestly, I feel like, the number one most important thing, other than providing your child with love and shelter and food and all those basic necessities, giving them a love of reading from an early age is critical,” Jackie said.

The event has grown tremendously since the first year. Jackie says because of the support and grants the organization has​ received, they were able to order 500 more books than usual this year after running out the last two years.

“We had maybe about 200 books, and had some left over, and we were still really excited because we had like 150 books given away, but to have grown from 200 books to now giving away 1300, especially the fact that all of them are free, has just been incredible, and to me that just shows this community values literacy,” Jackie added.

There will also be interactive games, an additional special book table, art activities and more at the event.

For more information on the event, you can visit the Bellefonte Reads website at: https://sites.google.com/a/basd.net/bellefonte-reads/home.

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