Kids Can Eat Free This Summer At Delray Library

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Staff report

Free lunches and snacks will be provided for kids this summer at the Delray Beach Public Library thanks to a partnership with Palm Beach County Schools.

Through July 28, free lunches and snacks will be available week days for children 18 and younger. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to noon and snacks from 2-4 p.m. No registration is required. Foods will not be served on holidays and weekends.

Adults who bring children to a site can eat lunch for $3.

“We hope the children of the community will come feed their bellies and feed their minds,” said Karen Ronald, Executive Director of the Delray Library. “Our doors are always open and our focus is always the kids, we’ll be offering activities during the lunch hours including story times, games, and craft projects. Plus, we will be giving away free books on a weekly basis that they can take home.”

The library’s 7,000 Free Books are part of the initiative to encourage students to pick up a book and read over summer vacation to stop “summer slide” which is when students return to school in the fall reading on lower levels than the previous school year. These books are provided to the Library from a grant provided through Jarden Consumer Solutions of Boca Raton. The books are used for library programming both at the library and the more than 150 summer outreach programs to camps, schools and community centers provided by the librarians of the Children’s Department.

“The children are so excited, when we come in to read, and we give them the free books,” said Ilene Glickman, head of the Children’s Department of the Delray Library. “I love this program, they are so absorbed in their new books. Some of the children have never owned a book before, and they ask ‘do I really get to keep this?’ It’s these moments when you know you have just instilled a lifelong love of reading.”