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Sunday, 4 July, 2010 1:28 AM

McDonald's and the Detroit Public Library team up to offer free Happy Meals

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Public Schools students with Ronald McDonald, First Lady Yvette Bing and two McDonald's Restaurant Operators.
by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- Children and adults were lovin' it mid-Wednesday morning inside the Teen Center at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library for the McDonald's Books & Backpacks, a literacy program to prepare "the youth of today and the adult of tomorrow." From now to the end of this year, the program's purpose is to enhance their minds. "Without reading skills, how far can you go in school?" said First Lady Yvette Bing, who once worked at Mickey D's a long, long time ago. Most of all, how far can all of us go in work, in life, and in this recession without the ability to read?

"Trying to win the free Happy Meal is just fun to me," said 9-year-old Josh Gilmore of Detroit. "I like horror books, I like adventure books and sometimes chapter books. I read all the time and I write in my journal right now. I just like to read a lot, see what books look appealing to me."

Each time children check out a book, their bookmarks will be stamped. Kids who check out five books will get a free Happy Meal or a Mighty Kids Meal at the nearest McDonald's restaurant. Plus, they'll be eligible to win a backpack or a $20 Borders gift card.

"Once we get kids started in reading, they will grow into it, they will like," said Melvin Jones, operator of two McDonald's restaurants in Detroit and Redford. "Reading is very important. Reading is fundamental to life. As we all say, the more you know, the further you go. We want our kids to understand that if they read, they will be successful. They will be successful in their careers. We're just trying to show our kids how important reading is."

Though summer has been here for less than a month, there are no restrictions or class schedules. The McDonald's Books & Backpacks program isn't like summer school. Children will still have free time, and one of them is to catch up and read their favorite books, which could possibly lead to a future career in either journalism or writing novels of their own.

"Not only are they going to nourish your minds, they are going to nourish your minds as well," Bing added. "You can choose something nutritional, you don't have to choose fries. This is going to help you mentally, as well as physically. When my husband took office, that was one of my main goals to make sure I educate some of our children."

Ronald McDonald and Mrs. Bing read to a group of children from the Detroit Public Schools. Books can be checked out at the Main Library or any of the 23 DPL branches for the program.

Click here for more information on the McDonald's Books and Backpacks program at the Detroit Public Library.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Ronald McDonald talks with Detroit Public School students.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Lurine Carter is the Coordinator of Children's and Teen's Services at the Detroit Public Library.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Melvin Jones is the owner and operator of two McDonald's restaurants in Detroit and Redford.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit's First Lady Yvette Bing announces the new literacy program for Detroit youth.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Patrice Merritt is the Executive Director of the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation.

 

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