Hooked on Books drive puts books in the hands of at-risk kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Every year the Hooked on Books book drive puts books in the hands of at-risk kids in the metro. In 15 years, students have collected more than three-quarters of a million books.

Saturday, which was distribution day, volunteers spent the morning sorting and boxing 20,000 books raised by kids for kids who are less fortunate. There were books about computers, presidents, boats, different countries, and even llamas and goats.

"Many of the kids we're serving don't own anything," said Megan Sturges with Reach Out and Read Kansas City. "This is an opportunity for kids who may have tons of books in the home to get a change to go home, clean off their book shelf and give back to other kids who would likely not have books in the home."

Volunteer Charlotte Lewin says every child deserves a book.

"I just think every kid should have a love of reading,” said Lewin. "It's something they can have and once you read a book, feel a sense of accomplishment."

Organizers say the book drive helps children gain more than just pride.

"Reading is like the foundation for all kind of life success, if kids can read, and start that foundation early then they are very likely and research shows they're going to be very successful academically,” said Sturges.

Books inspire the next generation because in the world of reading anything is possible.

Clear creek elementary collected the most books this year. It raised 6,500 books, which is 12 books per child.

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