Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Unexpected Ways to Get Free Children's Books in Cambridge - Cambridge Book Bike - Family Friendly Boston/Cambridge

I have always loved books and loved reading.  One of the first gifts I gave my son was a book, and I read to him often even though he was only a newborn and far to young to understand what was happening.  It didn't matter that he didn't understand it because it was more about sharing something beneficial with him that was important to me.

To this day my son loves reading and we do not take a nap or go to bed at night without him insisting we read at least two books to him, more if he can get away with it.

Anyway all that is a precursor to the amazing Cambridge Book Bike Program I stumbled onto by accident during the summer of 2015.  Honestly this program made me fall in love with Cambridge and though I've never considered myself a city girl I can't deny that Cambridge does amazing things for kids all summer long and its a fantastic place to have young children during the summer - with Book Bike probably being my favorite thing of all.

Unexpected Ways to Get Free Children's Books in Cambridge - Cambridge Book Bike - Family Friendly Boston/Cambridge

Things to Note: 

1) What is the Cambridge Book Bike? 
It's a bike, loaded with books, that travels around to different parks during the summer to give out free books to children.  They have teamed up with a bunch of great businesses to provide these books and make it possible. (Agenda for Children,  Center for Families, Cambridge Public Library, & Liz Phipps Soeiro)

2) What Kind of Books to they give out and to who? 
They give out books for every level, from popular board books (Llama Llama, Sandra Boyton, Goodnight Gorilla,) to soft cover picture books (Eric Carl) to young easy reader chapter books, to popular YA chapter books (Book Thief, Twilight etc.)  They are for children 18 and under and your child gets to pick out a new book every single week!  If you have multiple children they each/all get to pick out a book.

3) Why do they do this? 
I had to opportunity to talk to one of the women from the Agenda for Children and she was telling me that research has show children are so much more likely to read and be interested in both books and education if they have a library of their own and easy access to books.  She said that a library of their own is considered to be about 8 books, so their program ran for eight weeks, giving every child the opportunity to have a "library" by the end of it.

4) Where is this happening? 
The book bike visits a different Cambridge park every day of the week during the summer.  They have teamed up with Summer Food Programs and you can find out where they will be on any given day here:

Summary and Rating ★★★★★

Five Stars.  Cambridge Book Bike has been my favorite part of summer!  It's a great reason to get out of the house, head over to a park, and get moving.  We got free lunch, a chance to play at the park and a free book along with great crafts provided by book bike and the entrainment of having a librarian read a story aloud to the captivated audience of children showing how awesome books really are.  Bottom line is this is pretty much the best program ever and I can't wait to join in it again.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Cambridge Book Bike Website