By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community reading center in North Philly is distributing thousands of brand-new children’s books with pedal power. Eyewitness News Anchor Ukee Washington has the story.
Tree House Books on Susquehanna Avenue lives up to its name with its indoor tree house.
Lauren Popp of Tree House Books said, “Our main program is during the school year, and we wondered how many books our children were having access to over the summer.”
So they decided to take 3000 brand-new books and deliver them straight to kids by bike. Volunteer bicyclist Christy Ashaba is a 4th grade teacher, so she knows how to get kids interested in her book deliveries.
“One, it says your name in it: ‘This is my book.’ And then two, there’s an adult that’s giving it to you, saying ‘Hey, I read Harriett the Spy when I was younger. I loved this book too! Tell me how you like it next week,'” Christy said.
Tree House Books plans to deliver books to up to 750 children this summer. They call it Words on Wheels. Thirty volunteer bikers are packing up books and delivering them to two North Philly neighborhoods, and the kids know they’re coming.
Grandmother Robin Knox said, “They call me and say, ‘Grandmom, did the books get there yet? Did the books get there yet?'”
The children get a book a week for four weeks. One of Christy’s first deliveries is to 8-year-old Nah-Kara Williams. “Books are my favorite,” Nah-Kara said.
That’s what Christy wants to hear every time she makes a special delivery.
The books were paid for by another non-profit, Team First Book Philadelphia. These reading programs could always could use more help. Tree House Books has an Amazon wish list. To find out how to volunteer or donate, go to: www.treehousebooks.org