Volunteers in the Fox Valley are sorting through thousands of books, getting them ready to distribute to needy kids. A local chapter of "First Book" won a nationwide contest and a semi trailer full of books.
First Book (http://www.firstbook.org/) is a twenty-year-old nonprofit that hooks up publishers with local chapters that give out free, brand new books to kids ranging in age from infants to teenagers.
Lou Hull chairs the Fox Valley advisory board for First Book. She entered a nationwide challenge to either raise $20,000 or sign up three hundred new teachers to the program. Hull says she chose the enrollment challenge. "And on December 13th they called, I was walking home from work. They said, 'Your advisory board won the books, you're the first in the nation to reach that goal.' So it was exciting to think now we have, I think, even more than 40,000 books: I think we have 50,000 books we're sorting right now. Those are going directly into the hands of kids that are from low-income families that really need books."
Hull says teachers will come to the sorting area this weekend and get up to 120 books apiece. "Board books, picture books, adventure books, fantasy books, non fiction, you know, cook books, historic figures, entertainment..."
Hull says teachers can use the books in the classroom, check them out to students using a library system, or just give them away.