JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hundreds of books were handed out to children living at the Cleveland Arms Apartments Thursday as part of a local after-school reading initiative called Books and Burgers. It is designed to help nurture the body and mind of children.
On Thursday, First Coast News partnered up with the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church to donate 1,000 books.
The program started two years ago. Organizers say it's having a profound impact.
“Behavior has improved, said Bishop Guns with St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. "Parents are telling us their children are reading at a higher level, but more importantly parents are telling us they are seeing their children read at home and it’s exciting to be part of something so special.”
Guns says the program allows students to continue growing and learning, especially during the summer.
"Most of us wouldn't understand how powerful and important books are for these wonderful and amazing children," he said.
PHOTOS: 'Books & Burgers' After School Initiative
Students look forward to seeing the volunteers each week.
"I think Books and Burgers is a good environment for kids and how they learn to read and they've done so much for us," said Raniyah White, a fifth grader. "They've invited us to their church. They have done school giveaways for us. Books and Burgers really had done a lot for us."
Books and Burgers is still looking for volunteers to help out. If you or your organization would like to volunteer to read to the children at Cleveland Arms on Thursday nights, you can call Elder Barbara Johnson at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church at 904.768.7112 x 6084 or email email@example.com.