Occasionally when I have nothing to write I dig around on the internet to find book related news. I found this article last night. A woman from Florida has a VW bus named Bess that she drives around, bringing free books to kids in need. Having done observation hours in Rochester city schools, I've seen the hardships that many students face when they are living in poverty. While there are many issues facing children from poor families--lack of health care, inadequate nutrition, poorly funded schools--this one appeals to me especially, not because I don't think the others are important, but because I know from experience that this is one area in a child's life that often gets overlooked.
It's imperative that children are fed and clothed, but books offer new experiences, new horizons, and a chance to improve literacy. A lack of an education is a major factor in the perpetuation of poverty, especially in urban families. While, sadly, we as individuals with no political power may not be able to do much about the discriminatory policies that provide inadequate funding to urban schools or about the institutional racism that permeates our society, we can help children to get a better education. This woman, although I'm not sure what her Ethan Allen couch has to do with any of this, has found a way to do so and I applaud her efforts.
If you're interested in finding out more (or even donating), you can visit the Bess the Book Bus website.