Jamestown, N.Y. – With the beautiful weather for Jamestown’s 2023 Memorial Day parade, the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) was able to set up their book giveaway on the sidewalk in front of their building.
At 1255 Prendergast Avenue, the church is near Lakeview Cemetery, the parade’s destination.
Dozens of children and adults looked through the wide selection of books for all ages and chose ones to take home with them for free.
Committee members John Anderson, Dan and Linda Fellows, Linda Hiers and Susan Kalfas set up the display and were on hand to encourage participation.
“I was thrilled with how many folks stopped by, and we gave away so many books!” Hiers said. “Everybody needs to read to be a fully functioning citizen, and it’s very important for kids to have books of their own.”
Inspired by research that shows growing up with more books in their home increases a child’s literacy and educational achievement, one of the committee’s primary projects is to see that more children in the Jamestown community have books by giving them away for free.
On Halloween children are welcomed inside the building by costumed parishioners for a Halloween Read and Treat where they can choose a book, receive a treat, and do some simple crafts. The committee has “adopted” Fletcher Elementary School’s kindergarten classes, providing each student with at least three books during the school year.
There are two book boxes in front of the church, one with books for adults and the other for children. Anyone is welcome to keep books of their choice.