Books can inspire, educate, inform and expand a childâ€™s world through words and pictures. But some children and even adults may not have access to novels and textbooks. With this in mind, on Thursday, ESPN staffers were at Willow Brook Park in New Britain to hand out 22,000 new books to children and their teachers as part of the companyâ€™s ongoing commitment to community outreach.
â€śIt is wonderful to see so many children with their families here choosing books,â€ť said Evelyn Hudyma, a history teacher at New Britain High School. â€śThe diversity of the books here are amazing. This is a great way to build my classroom library and I am so grateful to have this opportunity.â€ť
Children who attended were able to receive six books, and Connecticut educators there were able o receive 25 books that range from novels, educational books, Disney storybooks and more. The event is part of ESPNâ€™s literacy efforts.
â€śAt ESPN, giving back to our local communities by providing reading resources is a significant and meaningful gift that allows for both academic success and personal growth,â€ť Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship, said in a statement ahead of the event. â€śI am excited to partner with First Book to ensure thousands of Connecticut kids and educators have books of their own to take home.â€ť
â€śWe are excited to partner with ESPN and spread the love of reading to our students,â€ť said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
Genesis Vargas, a student at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School, said she loves to read and likes the fact that students can come here and get free books.
â€śIt helps us get off our electronics, which is good,â€ť she said. â€śIt is nice to have this chance for families who canâ€™t afford to buy a lot of books to get them here.â€ť
Since 1992, First Book has worked to make new, high-quality books and educational resources, including sports equipment, winter coats, snacks and more, affordable to its member network of more than 425,000 registered educators who exclusively serve kids in need, according to its website. First Book says it has distributed more learning materials than any other program of its kind. This includes 185 million books and educational resources, worth more than $1.5 billion, reaching more than 5 million children annually.