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Literacy group, store team up for project
Will distribute free books to encourage reading
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Forsyth County News

Want to help?

Volunteers interested in helping with the local World Book Night U.S. distribution on April 23 should contact Annaliza Thomas, executive director of Literacy Forsyth, at For more information, go to

A local literacy organization has joined with a book store to provide free books to those who may otherwise not get them.

Literacy Forsyth, which supports adult education efforts throughout the county, will take part in World Book Night U.S. on April 23.

Annaliza Thomas, executive director of the organization, said it is working with Barnes and Noble at The Collection, formerly known as The Avenue, on Peachtree Parkway for the effort.

World Book Night U.S. is a national campaign to give free books to light or non-readers across the country.

Through the effort, volunteer book lovers will help promote reading by going into their community and handing out free copies of a book to those without means or access to encourage reading.

Thomas said the Forsyth County effort will focus on students enrolled in Lanier Technical College’s Adult Education program, which offers GED and English as a second language courses.

“The idea is to reinvigorate the love of reading and owning books, so we actually have a group of people, organized volunteers, who are going to receive the books on April 23 and then go out into the community and give them out at selected locations,” she said.

“We’re going to focus on giving out books to our students in our GED classes, so we’ll have up to 1,000 students who will receive a free book from World Book Night.”

Thomas said the books, which are donated from publishing companies, include a wide range of titles and genres.

“It’s a mixed list of titles, some are in Spanish, some are in English, so we have a big variety,” she said. “Some are for teens, some are for adults, some are middle school literature, so we have a good mix that are coming our way.”

Volunteers will gather at 5 p.m. April 23 in the south Forsyth Barnes and Noble location.

“We’ll have Clifford the Big Red Dog and Luna the Tooth Fairy there for the kids, so we’ll be doing some children’s events at the store,” Thomas said. “And then we’ll be giving out the books to the givers, so they can go out and hand them out.”

In addition to World Book Night, Barnes and Noble is also sponsoring a book fair in support of Literacy Forsyth.

Thomas said customers can request to have proceeds from any purchase made from April 23-28 go to the organization.

“Something as small as a cup of coffee or as big as a [tablet computer], a portion of the proceeds can go to us,” she said. “That’s right before Mother’s Day, so that’s a really good time to go Mother’s Day shopping.”

Thomas said she hopes World Book Night is a success, especially as this is the first time Literacy Forsyth has participated in it.

“We thought this would be a perfect fit for our organization,” she said.