Summer camp students receive free books after Local 10's Big Book Drive

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Local 10 News and companies across South Florida raised thousands of books for children in need, and on Wednesday, anchor Neki Mohan dropped off some of the books collected from the Big Book Drive.

Mohan started the day dancing at the Branches Summer Shade Camp in northwest Miami-Dade.

The children were excited to crack open the books, but Mohan decided to make them work a little for it.

She first read them a story and then quizzed them on it. Of course, there was a reward for the best listeners, and then it was a free for all as everyone left with a book in hand.

"Why did you pick this book?" Mohan asked one first grader.

"Because it's easy to read and it's fun," Esther Xavier said. 

"I like to read because it's like I am watching a movie in my head," 9th grade student, RiCarma Jean Baptiste, said.

The young campers range in grade from kindergarten to high school, and they know the importance of reading.

"It makes me zone out of my social media bubble and it helps me connect with the words in the book," Khella Chanza, who is in 7th grade said.

"It helps me when the FSA comes around at the end of the year, and it helps me in reading class too," another student said.

Brent McLaughlin of Branches Summer Shade Camp said they focus of reading with their students to help them in both school and their personal lives.

"It is a treasure, really, for kids -- to be able to give (them) the gift of literacy," McLaughlin said. "And that's one thing we focus on here at Branches, is to help the kids grow and develop, first with reading so they can succeed in school and then beyond in their lives."