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Give A Child A Book: Taking 'Book Deserts' in Tulsa County Down!

Posted at 2:37 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 19:41:00-04

TULSA, Okla. — The joy of reading and the boost to life it provides both personally and professionally should be accessible to absolutely everyone in America… especially in 2020.

However, due to some honest and not so honest mistakes in Tulsa and a multitude of communities across the country, that is simply not the case.

Much like it’s cousin, the "food desert," "book deserts" are areas within a city or county with a lack of libraries, book stores, book stands, or any place to grab a good read.

With, quite literally, millions of books published, grabbing a book wherever you want is now a matter or issue rather of access. Access to a library near your home or to a community center with a couple of shelves dedicated to a few classics, or a neighborhood "good faith" library with a collection of titles that aren’t classic at all.

It’s no secret reading for leisure or work stimulates and develops the mind in a way that opens doors to growth, expands ones knowledge and use of language, and stimulates the mind to be more proficient in other subject matters where reading is but an afterthought in the process.

This is why a duo of dedicated educators are working to bring the books to kids in these so called book deserts. So they won’t suffer a residual effect of their social-economic status which unfortunately deems their neighborhood as an area where a library or book store wouldn’t do well. Or, if it would, maybe it’s just simply overlooked. No matter what the reason, Kirby Mackenzie and Lisa Shotts are connecting books to brains with their traveling non-profit Gaining Ground Literacy.

Gaining Ground Literacy is a program that serves as a mobile library to book deserts in areas of Tulsa County. Because according to Shotts and Mackenzie, “every child has the right to education equity,” and to help make things more fair, eight years ago the duo took their passion to the streets.

2 Works for You is proud to partner with Gaining Ground Literacy this year in the stations annual "Give A Child A Book" campaign.

In addition to accepting donations to support Gaining Ground Literacy we are sharing stories about the importance of reading, how the Tulsa community continues to pursue it with help from non-profit Gaining Ground Literacy, and how it’s helping to change the lives of so many students and hopefully many more.

Be sure to watch 2 Works for You at 6 p.m. for a tale of two sisters who took matters into their own hands when they couldn’t get their hands on enough books.

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