Though often a luxury, books are an acknowledged route to success. In a year when the need for screen time and just dealing with the pandemic overwhelmed our conscious efforts, providing disadvantaged children with new books was an unexpected gift.  Thanks to a grant from the Chobee Hoy Group at Compass, Brookline Rotary has been distributing new children’s books to children in kindergarten through fourth grade for the last three weeks. The last Give Away was at Egmont Street Veterans Building at 4:50 on Friday, 5/14/21.
This special gift was the inspiration of Chobee Hoy, who wanted to not only encourage reading in our young people, but support local businesses.  She came up with an idea to do both.  Two independent book stores in Brookline, Brookline Booksmith and The Children’s Book Shop, selected a wide range of books covering old classics and new authors, various reading levels, diverse topics and ethnicities. Rotary picked up these hundreds of new hard-back children’s books for distribution.  Then Rotary worked closely with the Brookline Housing Authority and Brookline Thrives on logistics and ensuring safe distribution in line with local COVID guidelines. Members of the Brookline Rotary appeared at three Brookline Housing properties on three successive Friday evenings in conjunction with the Brookline Thrives and school meals program vans.  It was important that the children have choices and be able to select their own books so time was built into the project for this step.  Some kids knew exactly what they wanted despite parental steering and others studied and looked and studied some more!  We are confident that there were many smiles under all those face masks.