Bright Star Books distributes more than 170K free books to Summit County children – Spectrum News 1

December 14, 2021 by No Comments

What You Need To Know

  • Bright Star Books works in partnership with Summit County Public Health, Akron Public Schools and other area organizations to distribute books
  • The nonprofit gives children without any at books home at least five age-appropriate books to keep
  • Between 2014 and 2019, the nonprofit distributed more than 170,000 books, giving 40,000 Summit County children at least one book
  • The group also hosts book fairs at Akron schools, giving older students free books to take home

Keith and Christin Seher of Macedonia had talked for some time about various ways they could give back to the community, Keith Seher said. The couple works full-time — he for the federal government, and she an associate professor of practice and co-director of the [EX]L Center for experiential learning at the University of Akron.

In 2014, while reading a story to their 3-year-old son, Keaton, the Sehers told the little boy that some children don’t have any books at home.

“Well, then we have to give them some,” Keaton earnestly replied.

Thus Bright Star Books was born, with the goal of putting age-appropriate reading material into the hands of children who have no books to read at home, Keith Seyer said.“We did an initial assessment of where we thought we can make the most difference, and immediately realized that there weren’t any really strong, strategic programs working toward giving books to younger children,” he said.

Because Bright Star doesn’t hold its own events, if flies somewhat under the radar. But from 2014 to 2019, the nonprofit distributed more than 170,000 books, giving 40,000 children at least one book, the group said. More than 300 volunteers have assisted Bright Star, which works with about 50 partners.

The nonprofit frequently works in partnership with Summit County Public Health and the Akron Public Schools District through programs like WIC, Head Start and Akron Hope, he said.

Those programs help Bright Star achieve another of its objectives — to reach kids with the greatest need, he said.

“That’s kids who are living in poverty and in the communities where they’re most needed. WIC is a really great way of doing that,” he said.

WIC clinics, offered through the county, provide families with children five and younger nutritional counselling. About 72% of children enrolled in WIC live below the federal poverty line, making the clinics a good place to reach Bright Star’s target audience, Seher said.

Bright Star was piloted in 2015 at WIC Clinics in Barberton and at Summit Lake in Akron. In the beginning, Bright Star gave each child …….



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