Parrott-Wood Memorial Library receives 525 new books from Kids Need to Read’s “Grow Your Library” Program

Kids Need to Read (KNTR) will be arriving at the Parrott-Woods Memorial Library with Grow Your Library, an inspiring library donation program led by KNTR Board Members Gary and Tina Mlodzik. Inspired by the Mlodzik’s shared love of reading, family, and public libraries, this program delivers free books and story time to local libraries and children during the couple’s travels.

According to Library Director Donna Phillips, the Parrot-Woods Memorial Library serves an area where an estimated 60% of children do not have access to books at home. Ms Phillips has an annual budget of $500 to purchase books for the children’s section. At KNTR, we believe that having new and exciting books readily available for children to choose from encourages reading. To entice children and young adults to come to the library, KNTR is providing 525 new books to the Parrott-Wood Memorial Library. The cover value of these new books is $6,598.
As a retired elementary school Librarian, Tina Mlodzik stresses the importance of supporting public libraries, especially in communities where children may not own their own books. “Giving children access to a large quantity and varied selection of books has many benefits,” Tina explains. “The more books a child sees, the more motivated they are to read. Borrowing books from the library teaches sharing and builds respect for things that belong to others.”

On Tuesday, February 21st 2023 at 4pm Grow Your Library will hold a special story time event at the Parrott-Wood Memorial Library, 3133 West Old A.J. Highway in Strawberry Plains, TN. Each child in attendance at story time will receive a free book and a Highlights magazine courtesy of KNTR. After the event, each child will have the opportunity to donate a book in their name on behalf of KNTR. This no-cost opportunity teaches the children to use their own love of reading to help their library earn even more free books in the future.

“I developed the Grow Your Library program to introduce a giving culture in the youth we meet at literacy events,” said Gary Mlodzik. “Putting a book in the hands of a child and allowing them to expand their horizons is magical. Allowing that child to make a small effort in order to share that magic for future generations is a priceless lesson. It is my hope that the children will be proud of the book donations made in their name and tell their friends, thereby further encouraging both literacy and philanthropy.”

When asked about the motive behind the project, Kids Need to Read Executive Director Jessica Payne stated, “A library is the heart of any community. Kids Need to Read’s Grow Your Library program not only invests in these indispensable bastions of literary treasure, it also encourages and connects the communities served by each library in order to inspire support for future generations. Children who participate in this program learn that they too can make a difference.”
This will be the 46th community served by Grow Your Library since its inception in 2015. Grow Your Library has served communities in 26 states. Strawberry Plains is only the second Grow Your Library event in Tennessee. The city of Erwin, TN received a grant in 2022.

About Kids Need to Read:

Founded with a passion to improve the lives of disadvantaged children by providing inspiring book collections and engaging literacy programs to underfunded schools, libraries, and organizations across the nation, Kids Need to Read aspires to empower and embolden every last child through a culture of reading. For many of the children it serves, Kids Need to Read represents a crucial link to a strong literacy education, and its programs help build and nurture support systems for the development of literate minds. By immersing children in an integrated world of literary experiences that teaches them, firsthand, the impact of reading on every aspect of life, imagination is ignited and confidence is built for a prosperous future, regardless of race, economic status, or personal capabilities.