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Book Drive Underway to Help Improve Child Literacy

<br> <P>Books can help improve your child's intellect even before they learn how to read.</P> <P>A project is underway to do just that and Mechell Dixon is here to tell us about it.</P>

The United Way is teaming with the Wichita Falls Public Library and local businesses to help improve the brains of thousands of area little ones.

And this first time project is shifting into high gear through a city-wide book drive.

Reading to a child can hold a child's attention but it can also help them intellectually.

"A child's brain is 90% developed by age five. It's about 85% developed by age 3 so they're just sponges for teaching anything to them at that age," says Stephanie Gorham with the North Texas Area United Way.

And books can help boost their level of understanding.

That's why the United Way is pairing with local business owners to hold a city-wide book drive.

It's a project the owner of Sandy's Little Darlings preschool was excited to read all about.

"A lot of children do not even know what a book is and I'm so excited. I can't want for someone to give me a book cause I'm tired of buying them cause they're so expensive," says Sandy Cadena.

Cadena and many other daycare and preschool operators say around kids five and under, books don't last long either.

So, the United Way and businesses are hosting a first time drive to supply little ones with these tools that can help them excel during school.

"Once they're ready for kindergarten then they're mostly to be on the same learning level as everyone else. They won't fall behind. They'll be successful all through their entire school career... all by focusing on those first five years," says Gorham.

Local businesses are kicking off the city-wide book drive during tonight's Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce business after hours event.

Businesses will collect books through July 20th.

Those books will then be given free of charge to child care and day care officials first before all leftover books go to the public to help improve childhood literacy here.

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