Free books for children! Do you work with children in need? Do you need books? Read on!

On August 19, from 3-6 p.m., the East Bay Children’s Book Project will open the doors of its brand-new home in West Oakland at 955 12th Street.

What do we do? It’s very simple: we give away children’s books. Free. No strings attached. We’ve given away well over a million books to date.

Who needs so many books? Oakland’s classrooms need books for teachers and kids to use.

Day care and childcare providers need books so that kids can have stories and pictures and learn about books even before they really know what books are, because it exposes them to language, to ideas, and to skills that will eventually help them learn to read.

School libraries need books just to be open.

Family and early literacy programs need books so that kids can have books in their homes and can learn the joy of owning their very own books.

Enrichment programs need books so that kids can explore the things they love.

Doctors’ and dentists’ offices need books to keep kids happy while they wait; and how about giving young patients a book to take home instead of a cheap trinket?

Barbershops and hair salons need books because kids can’t read Sports Illustrated or Essence or People, and shops that give away kids’ books are happy community gathering places.

Juvenile detention facilities need books to feed the mind and grow the spirit and the intellect.

Organizations that serve parolees need books to help their clients reintegrate and engage with their children.

Senior centers need books for when grandchildren visit.

The need for children’s books is limited only by the imagination. If you work with an organization that serves children in need, you are welcome to come and get books from the East Bay Children’s Book Project. We have 40,000 new and gently used books in stock. There’s something for pretty much any infant, child or teen. Please visit our website, ebcbp.org, for information about our hours of operation (normally Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-6 p.m.) We would love to help you help others!

And speaking of help: our huge thanks to all the Oakland locals (and neighbors) who make up our wonderful village. Thanks to Home Depot and Oakland Rotary, for making the move possible. Thanks to Oakland Trybe, Meetup volunteers, all our splendid volunteers who have done everything from cleaning to hauling to making donations to fixing to counting and sorting books. Thanks to everyone who has donated money or materials or time. Thanks, as always, to Half Price Books and all our fabulous book donors, who give us the books that we give the community. Thanks to the absolutely amazing Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen for feeding our bodies and souls. And of course, thanks to our new home, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

We hope to see you soon!

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland.
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