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Local organization donates 60,000 free books to Western New York schools

And they plan on donating 40,000 more.
Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 17:49:21-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When Western New York students go to grab their weekly lunches, they're receiving a little extra.

“I didn’t wanna just leave the shelves full so I thought it would be great to give the product directly to the children.”
John Mika, Director of the Teacher’s Desk in Buffalo said.

With every meal a child receives from their public school, they also receive a book. Mika is calling the initiative a book with a bite.

“We’re calling it also a little Disney for dessert,” he adds.

Mika and his partner Jim have been delievering books to schools for the last five weeks. Already, The Teacher's Desk has given away 60,000 books. That's a value worth $1.5 million and they plan on delivering 40,000 more by the end of the school year.

“Our hope is to give them a little smile and a little hope and encouragement for when they go back,” Mika said.

Dr. Ramona Reynolds with Buffalo Public Schools says the families in her district could not be happier.

“The families are absolutely thrilled. The parents are visiting the grab and go sites with huge smiles on their faces," and she says the books have brought a sense of normalcy for the students.

“The students have essential had the opportunity to escape and enter a world where they perhaps they’re visiting outer space or their visiting Woodlawn Beach,” Reynolds said.

“It just gives them some normal activity you know what I mean," Nancy Scrito, teacher in the Niagara Falls school district adds. "To be able to sit down with mom and dad and read a book or sit down with brother and sister because we do reading everyday.”

To date, the Niagara Falls school district has received 10,000 books. And Buffalo Public Schools has received 21,000.

“We’re really looking to get more schools on board and give away as many we can and bring as many smiles as we can," Mika said.