KIDS BAG A BOOK WHEN TRICK-OR-TREATING IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.
There's more than a ghost of a chance that the costumed-kids trick-or-treating in San José will open their bags to "Little Red Riding Hood" or "Hansel and Gretel" or maybe "The Three Little Pigs." That's because this California community has launched a "Books for Treats" program that has many residents giving books instead of candy when the doorbell rings on October 31.
It started back on Halloween of '95, when San José resident Rebecca L. Morgan decided she had dropped enough sweet treats into neighborhood kids' sacks. Plus, warnings for parents to examine all candies before letting kids chow down inspired Morgan to search for another treat - one to satisfy kids and parents. She decided on books - a scary thought when you consider the cost of candy versus children's books. But the gleeful responses of kids - and their parents - encouraged Morgan to find a cheap way to feed kids' brains, not their cavities. Now the community is involved, with supporters including:
Here's how it works. Residents scour the thrift shops, used book stores, yard sales, and their own kids' discarded book collections. Morgan suggests having about 50 books just right for various reading levels from pre-kindergarten to 6th grade. Participating homes can download a special sign from www.BooksForTreats.org and display it in a window.
Also in that download there's a bookmark for residents to print, explaining the Books for Treats program - just in case parents wonder about the literary windfall.
Hey, won't those goodie bags get heavy? Well, the advice at www.BooksForTreats.org is to have Mom or Dad nearby to handle that load.
For additional information, log onto www.BooksForTreats.org, or
Contact Rebecca Morgan, (408) 998-7977.