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Hampden-based organization working to get books into the hands of children


By Abbey CarnivalePhotojournalist: Andrew Evans and Ryan Trowbridge

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 2:21 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - According to a Pew Research survey, students who perform higher on the reading portion of standardized tests are more likely to voluntarily pick up a book, but access to books is the real challenge.

“What we do at Link to Libraries is to get books into the hands and homes of the students and also into the school libraries,” said Laurie Flynn, president of Link to Libraries.

It’s easier said than done, but it’s a challenge that Flynn is happy to take on.

“We know that a child’s best chance in school and in life is through reading. We also know that unless kids have access to books, they can’t become proficient readers,” Flynn added.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 13 million children are enrolled in districts where the availability of children’s reading materials is less than 10 per student. To date, Link to Libraries has distributed over one million new books to students and libraries that need them.

“We have a team of volunteers that read monthly. Every time that they visit, they bring enough new books that each child gets to choose one and take home to keep. We know from feedback that sometimes it’s the only book in that child’s home and, oftentimes, it inspires reluctant readers to become readers,” Flynn explained.

On Wednesday, Western Mass News presented Link to Libraries with a $500 check to hopefully help as many students as they can.

“You guys, thank you so much. Western Mass News is always so good to us and I just have to tell you, a $500 dollar donation buys 150 to 200 new books for kids, so thank you,” Flynn noted.

If you always want to get involved in this, maybe it’s not by financial means, but it is your time. You can just sign up on their website to volunteer.


View Video on Western Mass News


Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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