Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, in collaboration with Richland Library, City of Columbia Parks and Recreation and the Columbia Police Department, will host a Books 2 Boys + Girls book fair at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at Woodland Park.
“We’ve seen the impact this program has had on our children’s lives, and we are excited to give students books in time for the holidays and their winter break,” said Mayor Benjamin. “Reading at grade level has a major influence on the trajectory of a child’s life, so we want to continue to do everything we can to aid the children in our community.”
Mayor Benjamin and Sgt. Christopher Morris, CPD South Region CRT supervisor, will read a selection of holiday-themed books to the children.
“As a teacher and coach, my father emphasized the value of reading,” said CPD Chief Skip Holbrook. “That lesson has remained in me, serving as a domino effect with my own family. Several Columbia police officers are parents, too, and read to their children on a daily basis. The Books 2 Boys + Girls program will carry on that educational tradition.”
The book fair will give the boys and girls approximately 1,500 books from which they can choose. The books will vary in reading levels for children in grades 1-5 and will be set up by age group.
The selection of the books was coordinated by Richland Library. Hand-selected by librarians, the books are specific to topics and genres that may be of interest to students of these ages.
The book fair events are not open to the public but will instead provide books to children from the Woodland Park and Meadowfield Elementary School after-school programs.
The book fair will also feature music by DJ NYCE and a meal provided by PDQ.
The Mayor’s Books 2 Boys + Girls initiative is supported by a gift from CIGNA insurance.