From the Toledo Blade:
The dreaded summer vacation reading list has gained little popularity among schoolchildren over the years, and for some, just getting hands on a book can be a challenge.
That’s where Books 4 Buddies comes in. The non-profit organization, started in 2012, focuses on providing books to disadvantaged youths, especially young men because they are considered mostly likely to be non-readers.
Books 4 Buddies is represented by a diverse group of young men who are called book ambassadors. The organization believes that young men are the best tool when it comes to reaching other children. Since 2012, these young men have held book drives at high schools such as Ottawa Hills and Perrysburg. This is how the organization gains books as well as donations from varies companies.
Among organizations staffing tables at the block party were the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Public Schools, and the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s graduate chapter for northern Ohio, which included brothers from Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo.
At their tables, they gave out free books or offered arts-and-crafts activities for neighborhood children. About halfway through the event, children gathered around for a book reading by brothers of the fraternity’s Alpha Xi Lambda chapter.
The book-themed block party is intended in part to target the “Summer Slide,” which theorizes that summer vacation from school induces a regression in learning proficiency. Colorado Department of Education researchers propose that children in low-income households fall behind, on average, by two months on reading during the summer break — an effect they say is cumulative.
“Because of the social economical status, Bookies 4 Buddies partnered with Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority in order to get kids where they live,” said John Jones, Alpha Phi Alpha’s vice president.
Read the Toledo Blade's article "Books 4 Buddies holds back-to-school party," featuring the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority.