Program brings books to kids for the holidays

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 A local organization is motivating children to read.

Becky McGowin is on a very important mission. She is picking up free books for her pre-school class at Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County. 

The initiative is part of the Literacy for the Holidays campaign. The coalition hands out more than 14,000 free books every Christmas for kids to take home.  

"It is a wonderful thing that they do," said Becky McGowin, a teacher at First For Kids Pre-School in Bradenton. "We manage to get them for several years now and its a real blessing for families who can't afford to get books."

The creative enterprise started in 2001. The goal is to put a book in the hands of children to cultivate a love of reading.  

"A child by the age of three needs to have 65 books in their library so that they can get an idea of what a book is," said Sharon Oaks of the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County. "So that they can  start to read recognize pictures help to develop their brain."

The program is changing the lives of children so that they can have a brighter future.