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500 books given away to children in Martindale-Brightwood

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Posted at 6:42 PM, May 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-20 18:43:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday, New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Black Worldschoolers, Mobile Bookstore, and The Oaks Academy hosted a free Children’s Book Fair for the Martindale-Brightwood community.

The book fair was the first of many at the church. Community members were able to take two books home for free. Over 500 books were given away.

"Skills are lost that children obtain during the school year," Dr. Eric Yancy, Pediatrian and member of New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church said. "We wanted to see if we could kind of prevent some of that 'summer slide' by keeping the children reading over the summer."

The free books included age-appropriate selections for children from birth to 12th grade spanning a variety of themes, from classics to new releases.

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Dr. Yancy says reading books is extremely important for a child's development.

"It's recently found that reading books actually helps sustain attention, whereas there's a lot of electronics going on that doesn't lend itself to sustained attention and forming your own thoughts and ideas," Dr. Yancy said.

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Brooke Reeves, Director of Marketing & Communications at The Oaks Academy says events like these are critical for the school that has been in Indianapolis for over 25 years.

"We really wanted the books that we curated here to represent the students that would be receiving them," Reeves said.

They partnered with Black Worldschoolers, a mobile bookstore, that has a vast collection of all Black books.

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"We wanted every student to feel known and loved by the books that they are receiving and Black Worldschoolers helped us do that," Reeves said.