United Way of St. Charles Hosts Children’s Book Swap,
Collects Over 2,000 Books
United Way of St. Charles hosted its 1st annual Children’s Book Swap on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the United Way office in Luling.
In the weeks leading up to the book swap, United Way collected over 2,000 books from local businesses and residents. Families were then invited to freshen up their personal book collections at the free event sponsored by United Way of St. Charles and Monsanto.
"We are proud that our first annual Children's Book Swap was so well-received by the community. The positive energy from the local authors, library representatives, and of course volunteers definitely contributed to the success of the event,” stated Kelsey Matthews, Volunteer Coordinator for United Way of St. Charles.
Over 30 local volunteers worked the event, including representatives from St. Charles Parish 4-H Clubs and Monsanto.
“As a partner in industry, United Way board member, volunteer at the event and parent, I was very excited to see the community respond with the huge volume of donated books and the high level of engagement by the children and their parents. The opportunity to remain engaged in reading throughout the summer is such a gift for all of our children. As always, the United Way of St. Charles team did an excellent job of organizing the event,” stated Shloe Jeffery, HR Lead at Monsanto’s Luling Plant.
The Children’s Book Swap also featured fun, hands-on activities including bookmark making, story time, a photo station, and free snowballs. Local author Lee Stephen was also in attendance answering questions about how he became a writer.
"It was amazing to see so many kids so excited about picking out books. There are so many things today vying for kids' attentions, but reading will always be something special. This was a great event from start to finish, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it,” stated Stephen, Epic Series author and Luling resident.
The first 100 children received a free, signed copy of Beaux the Blue Crawfish written by local author Wendy Cartozzo who also served as the special guest story time reader for the event.
Representatives from the St. Charles Parish Public Library were also on hand to sign up children for library cards, register families for the summer reading program and teach individuals how to access the various electronic resources available for free with their St. Charles Parish Library membership.
"We loved being a part of the Children's Book Swap! We were able to connect with readers, discuss the importance of reading as a family, and explain how participating in the St. Charles Parish Library's summer reading program can help maintain reading skills over the summer. It was great seeing so many people excited about reading!" stated Lauren Campo Pitz, St. Charles Parish Library Public Relations and Adult Programming Librarian.
Due to the overwhelming success of the event, Matthews says United Way plans to continue the Children’s Book Swap as an annual summer event.
“We are excited to continue and grow the book swap in years to come, with the same mission of keeping the children of St. Charles Parish engaged in summer reading.”
Extra books collected through the book swap are being donated to local classrooms and summer camps in St. Charles Parish.
To view additional photos from the United Way of St. Charles Children’s Book Swap please click here.