Students at Walt Disney Elementary show off the books they picked out.

Better World Books Rides for Reading

Students at Walt Disney Elementary show off the books they picked out.
Students at Walt Disney Elementary show off the books they picked out.

On September 15, Better World Books employees and community volunteers stocked up on books at our Mishawaka, IN, warehouse and road bicycles three and half miles to Walt Disney Elementary school during Ride for Reading‘s fourth annual National Ride for Reading Week.

The Ride for Reading works to make sure children have age-appropriate books at home while promoting fitness and community involvement. Better World Books has supported Ride for Reading‘s National Ride for Reading week for three years. This year, we hosted our first local ride to deliver books.

Volunteers load up books to deliver to the school.
Volunteers load up books to deliver to the school.

Members of the community, Better World Books employees and employees from Outpost Sports bike department teamed up for a total of 20 volunteers, 16 riders and 4 readers helping to distribute books at the school. Together, they transported 2,000 books to Walt Disney Elementary. Students gathered to welcome the riders. Once the books were set out, students were allowed to select three books to take home, allowing them to start or grow their personal libraries.

Volunteers get ready to leave the Better World Books warehouse for the ride to Walt Disney Elementary.
Volunteers get ready to leave the Better World Books warehouse for the ride to Walt Disney Elementary.

The event was headed up by Better World Books Client Services Specialist, Melissa Harris. She heard the founder of Ride for Reading speak during a company meeting and was inspired by the concept.

“We’re always trying to find cool volunteer opportunities. I really like being around kids. I was a children’s librarian for five years, and I’m a huge fan of children’s literacy,” said Harris.

Students welcome the riders as they arrive on bicycle.
Students welcome the riders as they arrive on bicycle.

According to Ride for Reading, over 45 million adults are considered to be functionally illiterate in the United States, and 85% of juvenile delinquents have difficulties reading. These statistics take an annual 20 billion dollar toll in the economy. By providing children with books to read at home, Ride for Reading and Better World Books hope to promote literacy in and out of the school setting.

Each student picks out three books to take home with them.
Each student picks out three books to take home with them.

This year rides took place in over 16 locations around the country serving children in cities such as Las Vegas, Nashville, Memphis, Philadelphia and Detroit.

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