Library's Jax Kids Book Club Gives Preschool Children Free Backpack of Books

Nearly 8,000 Backpacks Delivered to Pre-K Classrooms

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 14, 2021 – Building children’s reading skills at an early age is critical to their success and the success of their community. Jax Kids’ Book Club (first formed more than 15 years ago as Mayor Peyton’s Book Club) gives rising kindergarteners a set of books of their very own to build their home libraries. This program is especially valuable for children in lower-income homes where there may not be any age-appropriate reading material.

In 2021, Kids Hope Alliance transferred the program to Jacksonville Public Library. With the sponsorship of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation and several other generous community partners (listed below), the Library continued the proud tradition of distributing the books to VPK classrooms throughout the county, giving nearly 8,000 backpacks filled with books, a bookmark, an interactive toy and a library card application to give them the tools they need to build a lifelong love of reading, writing and literacy.

An additional 2,000 backpacks are available for Duval County families with rising kindergarteners who are not enrolled in a VPK classroom. These may be picked up at any library location while supplies last.

“It warms my heart to know that the Library is able to help children build their own libraries,” said Kathy McIlvaine, Chair of the Board of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation. “We hope that children enjoy the books and we look forward to seeing them at their neighborhood libraries soon!”

The program would not be possible without the sponsorship of the Foundation and these other wonderful organizations who value reading, writing and literacy: JM Family Enterprises/SE Toyota Distributors, Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Walmart, PNC Bank, Nemours, Coker Law, Florida Blue, Vystar Credit Union, Waste Management, Pajcic & Pajcic, and Fadi Chakour, M.D., J.D.

Those interested in contributing to the Jax Kids Book Club program should contact the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation at (904) 255-6192 or call the Library at (904) 255-BOOK (2665).

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