Thursday, February 5, 2009

A book for every child: Giveaway program is run by teens


I spotted this in the Vacaville Reporter this morning. It's great to see local teens recognized for working with the younger kids.
By Ryan Chalk/
Posted: 02/05/2009 01:00:54 AM PST

One book at a time, brothers Kyle and Brady Baldwin are bringing smiles to children's faces.

On Wednesday, Brady Baldwin, along with two other volunteers, visited two classrooms at Suisun Elementary School in Suisun City, to read stories to the students and give each one a book to take home.

Brady and his brother are the founders of My Own Book, a nonprofit organization designed to promote reading and distribute brand-new children's books to less fortunate children.

Inside Janet Robertson's first-grade classroom, Armijo High School seniors Sarah Doolittle and Blanca Guerra took turns reading stories as students got up, one by one, to pick out a book from one of the three boxfuls that Baldwin carted in with him. Once the students picked a book, Baldwin placed a personalized bookplate with their name on the inside cover.

"It feels really nice to see all the kids," said Guerra. "They really enjoy it and have fun with it."

The brothers started the organization a few years back as part of their Suisun Valley 4-H service project. Since then it has blossomed, with the pair and their devoted volunteers reading and distributing more than 16,000 books throughout schools in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District and at Solano County Library branches.

Brady, who's brother Kyle is currently attending Bryant University in Rhode Island and doing outreach on the East Coast, said they get books from publishers and bookstores for free or at a discounted rate.

Their organization recently won a $10,000 grant sponsored by Best Buy, which will allow them to purchase and distribute 8,000 new books.

"Usually, the average children's book is pretty expensive," said Brady Baldwin. "We're trying to get a book to every child 8 and under. And if their family doesn't have the means to buy a book, they can give us their address and we'll send them a book."

This month, the brothers are promoting their National Share the Love of Reading Month event. They encourage every teen and adult in the nation to buy a children's book, read it to a child and then give it to him or her.

Anyone who knows of a child who needs a book can contact the brothers through their Web site at, or write to Brady Baldwin, 4657 Green Valley Road, Fairfield, CA 94534. Include the child's name and a personalized book plate will be added. Schools are invited to participate in the program as well.
Our thanks to the Vacaville Reporter for letting us link to their story and help spread the good news.

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