Women’s club starts project to promote young readers

Books for children will be hidden in local parks

Vice President of the GCWC, Karen Black, shows the small note being placed in each book hidden in the park for the “Look 4 a Book’ project. The club will hide books across the park to encourage reading and sharing in young children.

The Gloucester County Women’s Club will promote young readership with a new project this summer called Look 4 a Book  

The program offers books for children that are hidden in area parks for readers to find and read, then hide again for another child to find.

“It’s to encourage kids not only to read, especially now during the summertime that school is going to be let out, but also to share a book,” explained club President Mary Schneider. “That’s what we are hoping to accomplish.”

Look 4 a Book was inspired by an article about a similar program in the United Kingdom. The idea motivated club Vice President Karel Black, who decided to bring it across the pond and to local communities. 

“I just thought it was a neat idea and a cool way to get kids excited about reading,” Black noted.

To get the project off the ground, Black brought a stack of young children’s books to the club’s most recent in person meeting at Washington Lake Park. Books were packed in sealed plastic bags to keep them safe from the elements and placed in different locations throughout the park. Most of the titles were meant for kids 5 to 7 years old and each came with a small note from the club explaining  the project.

Besides Washington Lake Park, books have been hidden at Chestnut Branch Park in Mantua; at both locations, they are placed near playground equipment for young kids to find them easily. According to Schneider, the club hopes to get 100 books into local public parks.

“We are doing this for a purpose: The books are from our club members to give kids a book to read,” she added. “We are hoping it catches on and other people do it or put out more books to read … We will continue it as long as our members want to continue to put books out there through the summer.”

The Gloucester County Women’s Club is a 501c3 organization that brings together local women 18 and older to help local communities through fundraisers, events and community projects. The club has been meeting virtually during the pandemic.

Along with Look 4 a Book, the club holds local events and fundraisers. Members recently collected 7,118 pounds of miscellaneous items at their Clothing and More Drive and raised more than $1,400, money that will go toward senior scholarships and needy local families.

For more information about the club, visit www.glocowomensclub.org or the Gloucester County Women’s Club Facebook page. For information on joining,  email glocowomensclub@gmail.com.