Philly program brings books to kids this summer [photos]

This past weekend, the Philadelphia Chapter of Books and Breakfast celebrated its second anniversary at the North Philly Peace Park.

Program coordinator Tanisha Dennis knows that summer reading is not most kids’ idea of fun. But she says with today’s choices, it’s easier to catch their attention.

“I remember when I was growing up there weren’t as many children’s books that had people that looked like me, going through similar experiences to ones that I’ve had,” she said. “But now that’s not the case anymore. So I want to really make sure that we’re making it a point to show them well you probably do like reading you just need to read something that’s actually interesting to you.”

The free monthly program includes a meal, a hand’s on project, and a book to take home. Extra prizes are awarded to kids who answer Dennis’ reading comprehension questions.

The program began in St. Louis from activists at Hands Up United, following the officer involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown.

“So rather than just simply protesting in the streets all the time, we decided we could be connecting people and the communities that need it with resources that they need,” said Dennis.

Books and Breakfast rotates locations to broaden its reach. This month’s host, the North Philly Peace Park, will be building an eco-schoolhouse designed by architecture students at the University of Pennsylvania later this summer. This year, the Peace Park has expanded to five satellite locations in North Philly.

Wilbur Green, the Park’s Farm Director, says that the main campus in the Sharswood neighborhood hosts lots of events — from theater performances to financial literacy classes.

“We just want to show the community that we can come together on our own and be our own resources,” said Green.

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