Placing Books into the Hands of Kids

Written by Megan McDermott

Can you remember the very first book that you fell in love with? It was that book with the well-worn cover and the dog-eared pages that you read over and over.  For me, it was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  I remember being so touched by the love that the tree had for her “boy.”  Over the years, wandering through book stores, I have often stumbled upon this familiar childhood memory.  To this day, I love sitting down and reading that book.  I even had the opportunity to read it to a few of the girls that I disciple, sharing the love of my favorite book with them.

For many of the kids in our community the presence of books in the home is not a reality.   According to Susan Neuman in Changing the Odds for Children at Risk, 2009, "In middle class neighborhoods there are about thirteen book titles for every child. By contrast, in neighborhoods of lower socioeconomic status, there is only one book title for every 300 children."

How do we address the lack of literature in the homes of our children?  At Mission Adelante, we believe that urban, multicultural ministry requires fresh ideas and new approaches.  We promote a culture of innovation that encourages creative solutions for unique circumstances.  A fresh idea took root as we thought about how get books in to the homes of the children.

Last Wednesday we had our first book distribution!  We decided to start small with our Leaders in Training and focus on getting three books into the hands of each of the thirty kids.  It was so much fun to watch the kids dig through the bins of books, choosing titles that spoke to them.  From Diary of a Wimpy Kid to a Jackie Robinson biography, the books that we had collected went directly into the hands of the children.  We are excited about our next book distribution in December to bless all one hundred of the children that attend our Outreach Bible Studies.  Our hope is that, just as The Giving Tree was the first step in my love of literature, the children of our community will develop a passion for reading.  After all, don’t we all deserve to find that one book that touches our heart and instantly transports us back to our childhood?  If you would like to provide gently-used children's books in the Kindergarten through sixth grade reading level range for distribution, please visit for more information.

In other news:

  • Some of our staff members participated with our Bhutanese friends recently in a popular Nepali festival during which they go house-to-house caroling. Several Bhutanese friends expressed how special it was for them to see Americans learning about and participating with them in their Nepali traditions.
  • Our level 1 Latino ESL class has a record number of students and volunteers participating this trimester!

Prayer needs:

  • Please pray for two marriages in our Latino community that are currently going through significant struggles.
  • Please pray for many Bhutanese English students who suffer from chronic pain.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit's leading as we choose goals and plan for 2015.

Current needs:

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs for use in our facility. Contact
  • A Bhutanese family from our community is in need of a crib for their new son. If you are able to provide a crib, please contact Drew Hammond at
  • Bhutanese LIT is still in need of a few more Thursday mentors.  If you would like more information contact Kristen Maxwell at
  • LIT is in need of individually packed, healthy snacks. Please contact Kristen Maxwell at

Important dates:

  • Fall break: Tuesday, November 25-Saturday, November 29 No programs. Happy Thanksgiving!