United Way to host children’s book swap

ESCANABA — The United Way of Delta County is hosting a free Children’s Book Swap on Wednesday, June 21, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Delta Plaza in Escanaba. The event is the local project for the United Way’s worldwide Day of Action. Families are invited to bring children’s books (in good condition) that they don’t want to keep, then let their kids browse the tables to find “new” books to love. Books for young children as well as chapter books and books suitable for teens will be welcomed.

Each year on June 21, United Ways around the world participate in the United Way Day of Action, inviting their communities to improve conditions in which they live by volunteering with United Way. This year’s national focus is on summer learning and nutrition, and organizers hope that providing access to free books will help prevent an educational lag known as “summer slide”

“Kids who don’t get academic enrichment during the summer often forget what they learned during the school year,” said Julie Mallard, executive director of the United Way of Delta County. Children from low-wage families slide a lot further, often starting school with a two-month lag in math and a three-month delay in reading. By middle school, these students have lost two full years of learning according to the National Summer Learning Association.

Mallard said everyone is welcome to attend the Children’s Book Swap and take home books even if they don’t bring books to exchange. “We will have a lot of books and do not limit the number people can take. We want everyone to take as many as they will read,î she said.

The United Way of Delta County also will have information on two other recently launched local literacy programs: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (a free book program for preschoolers) and Little Free Libraries (a free book exchange for readers of all ages).

People who have children’s books to donate may bring them directly to the book swap on June 21. For more information, call 786-3736, e-mail julie@uwdelta.org or visit the United Way of Delta County website www.uwdelta.org