By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Recently, teacher and Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper shared his love of books by reading the classic “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak to children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County at Memorial Park in northwest Oklahoma City..
This special event was part of the Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) Compact initiative ReadOKC’s “Get in the Game” summer reading challenge. The program encourages OKCPS elementary students to read 20 minutes a day this summer. The goal for students’ is to read at least 1,580 minutes over the summer break.
The OKCPS Compact is comprised of Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the United Way of Central Oklahoma, and the City of Oklahoma City.
“As the ReadOKC initiative moves into its second year, we are pleased to offer reading challenges during the summer, fall, winter, and spring breaks to encourage students to stay engaged with reading even when they aren’t at school,” the website states.
As part of ReadOKC’s focus on access to books, community champions have placed ReadOKC Little Free Libraries at schools and locations around Oklahoma City where young people gather.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but according to the website, the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.
Commerce Bank funded a ReadOKC Little Library at Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County. Stewards ensure the libraries remain full of books to borrow at no cost.
ReadOKC plans to install 100 Free Little Libraries with funding provided by OKCPS champions in the community.
Since 1995, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County’s goal has worked with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances throughout Oklahoma County. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County serves over 700 youth and teens daily, has over 3,400 registered members, and offers programs at four locations in Oklahoma County – Memorial Park, Cesar Chavez Elementary, Santa Fe South, and Telstar Elementary. For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, visit bgcokc.org. Learn more about ReadOKC here.