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Milwaukee children receive free books on National Reading Day

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 14:42:41-05

Over 500 Milwaukee children received free books Thursday for National Reading Day.

As part of the Scripps Howard Foundation literacy campaign called, "If you Give a Child a Book," TODAY's TMJ4 raised about $5,000 to purchase books.

At Next Door Foundation in Milwaukee, children were able to pick out their very own book through a Scholastic Book Fair.

"Research has shown that children who have books in their homes do better in school," Jacquelyn Shanti, Books for Kids Program Manager said. "To be better prepared for school."

Employees of TMJ4 also took time out to read to children. It's an important aspect to the learning process for the kids to have adults and family members read with them.

"They're hearing words they may not hear all the time," Shanti said. "You can't even imagine how wonderful reading is for children. It's the best thing you can do with your child."

Several students from St. Monica's School helped the kids pick out books. Some were as young as three-years-old, but the older kids were happy to help.

"When people read to you, you kind of fall in love with it," Lucy Halpern, a sixth grader said.

"My son is learning now because he has a speech delay," Yolanda Hamilton said. "He wasn't talking before he came here but now he's talking."

Hamilton's son Daven is three-years-old. As she read his "Paw Patrol" book to him, the smile couldn't be erased from his face as he pointed out different animals and said their name. First a dog.Then a cow. Slowly but surely getting him to a level of literacy his mother hopes for.

"He's learning words," Hamilton said. "He's learning to talk. He's learning to say names."

And one day, she hopes he can read the "Paw Patrol" back to her.

"I'd just start crying," Hamilton said. "Because that would be a special memory."

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