TFT President Kevin Dalton was among the Toledo educators participating in the book trip today. “This is a great project,” he said. “Our teachers, paraprofessionals and some of their children went to Detroit to bring back thousands of books for other kids who would not be able to afford these learning resources. TFT members are so excited to be able to work with First Book to get books into our students’ hands.”
In addition to the books picked up at the warehouse by the Toledo group and by Michigan educators, First Book and AFT volunteers shipped more than 400,000 books around the country from the book bank operated here this week as one of the activities leading up to the AFT’s national convention at Cobo Center, July 27-30.
“When children have books of their own they are so much more likely to develop the love of reading that is important to lifelong learning,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “That’s why AFT members around the country are working with First Book to get books into the hands of children who otherwise cannot afford them. We want to level the playing field so that all kids can have books of their own.”
This week’s book bank was organized by First Book and AFT. Volunteers from Detroit-area AFT locals helped fill orders and load book cartons for those who came to the warehouse in Romulus, Mich., to pick up books. “We’re taking a stand with our friends at the AFT to make sure kids in Detroit and many other communities around the nation get the help they need—from all of us—to succeed,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s president. She and other First Book officials will be participating in events at the AFT national convention next week.
“For AFT Michigan members, this is just the beginning of what we hope will be a permanent relationship with First Book,” said AFT Michigan President David Hecker, who is an AFT vice president. “As we move ahead toward a new school year and beyond, we believe the partnership launched this week will enhance learning for our students for years to come.”
More than 20,000 of the books distributed this week will go to kids in the Detroit area and other Michigan communities.