Local 10 hosts 8th annual Big Book Drive to distribute new books to South Florida kids

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – The Local 10 Big Book Drive has collected and distributed over 150,000 books to South Florida kids and added 4,000 more to that number on Wednesday.

Local 10 kicked off the morning in a Dr. Seuss Wonderland at Vera Cadillac Buick GMC in Pembroke Pines, where elementary school students from the Embrace Girls Foundation served up green eggs and ham and expressed their love for reading.

“I like to read because when you’re reading, you can be anywhere you want to be, even if you’re just in your room or on your bed or something,” said Morgan, of the Embrace Girls Foundation.

Another young reader told Local 10 News that he likes to read because it helps him in many ways.

“Reading makes you intelligent, helps you grow, makes you smart and helps your vocabulary,” said Danny, member of Hope for Miami Summer Camp.

Now in its eighth year, the Big Book Drive welcomed kids from ages 4 to 16, attending summer camps from across South Florida, to the event to get their hands on the new books.

Event organizers said kids from ages 4 to 16 were coming to the event from summer camps all over South Florida to get their hands on the new books.

Local 10 News anchor Eric Yutzy spoke with the “reading fairy” at the dealership who said she was “excited” to help expand the minds of young readers.

Campers also received a huge surprise from the Cat in the Hat, who took part in the festivities.

Yutzy also made his way to a camp in Hialeah Wednesday afternoon where eager readers celebrated his arrival.

Local 10 News spoke with a camper named Michael who said that he would prefer reading over watching TV.

After Michael told Local 10 News that he liked books that are “adventurous” and involved comedy, Yutzy handed him “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume.

Local 10 also loaded up GMC Hummer EVs and SUVs to provide new books to hundreds of students at Oakridge Elementary School in Hollywood.

This year, each child went home with at least two of their favorite books. Vera Cadillac Buick GMC has been the Big Book Drive sponsor since Day 1.

“It’s great to see the kids enjoying it because we know how important reading is for the foundation of learning,” said Richard Gonzalez, Vice President and General Manager of Vera Buick Cadillac GMC.

“If there’s ever a time to focus on literacy, it’s in the early ages of children. So, with our partnership, we’re going to focus on literacy to make sure that these kids shine in the future,” said James Haj, President and CEO of The Children’s Trust.

Since its inception, the Local 10 Big Book Drive has worked with Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward County schools to get new books into the hands of students, especially those in elementary schools.

The Local 10 Big Book Drive was created as part of the My Future, My Choice initiative to give kids access to their very own books. It has been identified that in low-income communities across the nation, there is often only a single book to be shared among as many as 830 children.

For more information on the Big Book Drive, email community@local10.com.

About the Authors:

Eric Yutzy joined Local 10 News as a news anchor and reporter. He co-anchors Local 10 News on weekday mornings.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.