Albemarle County Food Pantry Encouraging Kids to Read
A program at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Albemarle County is hoping to improve literacy and help children grow their confidence.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County food pantry is offering a different kind of nourishment - knowledge.
Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry has created an area where children can read books while adults shop. This is all part of the pantry's push to improve literacy and help children grow their confidence.
The kid zone started out as a toy section where children got to choose a toy they wanted to keep, but has since grown into a small library.
Children can now take a book a home, read it, write a simple book report, then take it back to the pantry. They will get a certificate and a Beanie Baby if they do all that, and they get to keep the books they read as well.
Warehouse assistant Jesse Norris helped to come up with the idea. Norris has three young children himself and says he just wants all children to have the opportunity to expand their horizons.
"It's not just about giving people food, it's really about seeing people grow. And as much as I like to see the same people every month, I'd love to see people not have to come back. I'd love to see their children, you know, becoming honor roll students in school," Norris said.
When children receive their prizes, parents also are given an extra pantry item. The pantry also has a section for parents who would like to take home a free book.
Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry is accepting book donations to add to its kid zone.