Toledo’s groundbreaking Books 4 Buddies (B4B) collection drive and literacy program hits the hardwood next week at Owens Community College when new books are donated to more than 100 participants of the Mitchell-Jackson Basketball Camp, held July 23-26, 2012.
Just weeks after its June launch, B4B has already received about 2,500 contributions from the shelves and personal libraries of generous Northwest Ohio residents. Targeting aspiring athletes at the popular Mitchell-Jackson program, B4B organizers say, is a natural extension of the initiative’s goal to excite youth – especially boys – about reading.
“We’re really glad to have our guys included in the program,” says camp co-founder Todd Mitchell. “It’s a way to remind them that they should keep their minds stimulated off the basketball court and become well-rounded individuals.”
Conceived by Toledo native Touré McCord, 14, B4B receives new and gently used books for disadvantaged children and young adults. The program has drawn support from the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, The Blade, WTVG 13, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, Toledo NAACP, Cumulus Radio and many more.
Age-appropriate reading titles will be presented during Thursday’s (July 26) camp-ending trophy ceremony to pre-teen and teen ball players, including Rogers High School student Michael Carpenter, who is also a B4B role model “ambassador.” Read For Literacy, whose executive director Jim Funk is a B4B board member, purchased the books for donation.
Todd Mitchell and Jimmy Jackson, both reared in Toledo and former NBA and professional basketball players, have held the Mitchell-Jackson Basketball Camp since 1990.
- Toledo-Lucas County Public Library | Toledo, OH