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Grand Rapids literacy program offers free books for children

Storytime GR offers books of all genres for everyone from babies all the way up to teenagers, and they've got giveaway events coming up in August.
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE/Matt Gard

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Lincoln Park was filled with people Tuesday night as the city celebrated one of its National Night Out events on the west side. Among the booths set up for the evening was one where children could pick out a free book to take home.

Storytime GR is the program that makes it possible. It's a collaboration between the City of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Public Library, Read GR and Grand Valley State University.

"We've all joined forces in order to provide books to our community," said Becca Walsh, who serves as program coordinator for Storytime GR.

"We have everything from picture books to graphics novels. We have biographies, non-fiction and everything you can imagine. We know that every child has individual tastes and we believe that reading should be about fun, so we want kids to find a book that speaks to them so they can learn to love reading."

Walsh says she wants kids to see themselves and their experiences in the pages of the books.

"And also to see glimpses of a life that they might have, so they can dream to become an engineer or an astronaut or a doctor or whatever they want to be."

Storytime GR is holding Storytime in the Park at Lincoln Park, Garfield Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park on various dates for the rest of August. They also have book pantries where kids can select a book. Information on events and pantries can be found on their website.

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