Grand Rapids — A new local nonprofit organization recently visited Campus Elementary to promote children’s literacy and put books in the hands of hundreds of students.
Giving Tree Books is run by Steve and Nancy Devon, who launched the nonprofit to offset a dip in the number of books owned by elementary-age students. The couple stopped by Campus to read and hand out copies of their first book, “Tasha Goes to Puppy School,” to all pre-K through sixth-grade students.
The book, written by Steve, shares the “funny and heartwarming tale of a little puppy struggling to find her place in the world and what makes her special,” according to a release from Giving Tree.
The Devons plan to release more books as their organization grows.
“The sky’s the limit as far as how many schools we can reach,” said Steve. “We want to do more books and reach more schools.”
By placing a book directly in students’ hands, Giving Tree hopes to help elementary students take pride in reading, and feel personally invested in the process.
“We’ve got a spot at the beginning of the book that says, ‘This book belongs to …’” Steve said. “(Students) get so excited about writing their name in it.”
While at Campus, the couple also talked with students about writing work they’re doing in class.
The Devons said the organization hopes to visit more Kent County schools and get books to more students in the Grand Rapids area; the public can support their work on Giving Tree’s website.