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Milwaukee kids receive thousands of books from the Scripps Howard Foundation

Posted at 12:47 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 10:07:56-04

Students at Next Door Milwaukee received a special gift -- more than 4000 books!

They didn't just hear a story, they got to take some home, too. Erica Horton couldn't be more excited for her four-year-old daughter, Deanna.

“She has her favorite book, it’s about dinosaurs and tacos that we read every night, as well as a second book,” Horton said.

The story revolved around a young boy preparing a taco dinner for dragos. But, oops! He accidentally made the tacos too spicy. But Horton says there’s a good message at the end.

“There was a mistake made, but they came together, worked on it and figured it out and at the end of the day, everybody got their tacos that were not spicy.”

Jackie Shanti says she and the staff at Next Door Milwaukee at are trying to build a lifelong love of reading.

“They can’t wait to sit down and hear a story, and they love getting their books every time they come to the library,” Shanti, the manager for the Books for Kids Program at Next Door, said.

Shanti says learning to read is the foundation for the rest of a child’s education, and sets them up for success in life. But, it can also just be fun.

“My being part of that whole experience is just joyful,” Shanti said.

Viewers just like you donated, and Bank Five Nine matched $5,000 to buy more than 4,200 books. Shanti says she got to pick books with stories from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

“The kids need to be able to see children in their stories that look like them, have the same problems they do, but also to see people that look different than they do, and families that are made up of different groups of people,” Shanti said.

Horton just hopes her daughter never loses the magic of reading.

“Coming home with a book, especially when it’s a bunch of them, is really exciting. She loves to read them right away in the car, so that will be exciting.”

The book drive was part of TMJ4’s “If you Give a Child a Book” campaign in partnership with the Scripps Howard Foundation and Scholastic Books.

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