BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the poorest parts of our city, the kind of books read for pleasure are precious.
As Mike Schuh reports, at one school, volunteers stepped up to change that.
Groups are trying to even the playing field by working to help the young minds at Pinderhughes Elementary school, a school in one of Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods.
A direct descendant of President Martin van Buren took the storytime chair, reading to kindergarten students.
And while he finishes up, O.T. Warren, a local real estate broker, is scratching out a check to give to the group that has taken over what used to be an empty classroom.
Now, it’s been filled with books, which will be given away for free.
Sherry Phillips started the idea.
“They don’t have access to books so they don’t have an opportunity on a regular basis to love to read,” she says.
With the book fair, students will be getting certificates for books, 15 book dollars apiece. The names of all 275 kids are on the certificates.
They do have a library here at this school, but the books aren’t up to date, they have no librarian, and they have no scheduled library time. Most often, the room is used as a testing center.
“This is a great experience for the kids here,” says O.T. Warren.
Warren fought dyslexia as a kid and sees the lack of access to books as something to correct.
“As an adult now you appreciate it more and appreciate the struggles some kids may have,” he says.
By Wednesday, all 275 kids up through 8th grade will have visited the fair.
The book fair is sponsored by the Enterprise Woman’s Network and is the only one of it’s kind in the city.