A nationwide effort launches to turn 'book deserts' into literary oases

Los Angeles Times
The National Book Foundation is teaming up with publishers and the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education to make "book deserts" a thing of the past. The literary organization, best known for presenting the annual National Book Awards, joined its partners announcing the Book Rich Environment Initiative, which will donate books to residents of public housing nationwide. The National Book Foundation is working with publishers to make sure the books donated are appropriate for a wide range of ages and reading levels, and that they reflect the diversity of the communities participating in the initiative. Four million children and their families live in HUD-assisted housing, which is often located in neighborhoods without nearby bookstores or libraries. The Book Rich Environment Initiative will distribute free books to schoolchildren and families in these “book deserts” starting in March.

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"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald