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Read to Learn Books for Free Initiative Reaches One Year Milestone

Children looking at books

Miami, May 21, 2014 - With the goal of having all Miami-Dade County children reading at or above grade level by third grade, the Read to Learn Books for Free Initiative – a program developed by The Children’s Trust and The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College  – has arrived at its one year milestone this month. Thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors and the general public, more than 120,000 books have been collected and given to children in underserved communities since April 2013.

Fewer than 48% of children are read to daily, and among low-income families, only 36%.  Read to Learn Books for Free hopes to encourage families to read together by giving away the books in locations where families often visit together, such as public health clinics, low-income housing, and at the Children’s Courthouse and Juvenile Justice Center, for a total of 25 distribution locations.   

“Reading is a fundamental tool for a child’s future growth, imagination, creativity, and self-empowerment,” says Delia Lopez, Director of Operations at The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College. “Since launching the Read to Learn Books for Free initiative a year ago, we have been overwhelmed by the community’s generosity and support for Miami-Dade’s underserved youth.”


Thank you to past and current Read to Learn Books for Free sponsors:


·         Property Markets Group

·         Books & Books

·         The City of Miami Beach

·         Univision

·         Navarro Discount Pharmacies

·         Tropical Girl Scouts of South Florida

·         Pottery Barn Kids at Merrick Park

·         South Florida Business Journal

·         Peek Children’s Boutique

·         First Book

·         Publix Super Market Charities

·         SapientNitro

·         ArtCenter/South Florida

·         South Dade Toyota of Homestead

·         ZGS Digital

·         Holland & Knight

·         Kaufman, Rosin & Co.

·         Florida Community Bank

·         Law Offices of Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez

·         Stonegate Bank

·         Pottery Barn Kids Merrick Park

·         Great Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

·         Cool de Sac

·         Junior Orange Bowl

·         Aventura Auto Center

·         The Junior League of Miami

·         Dental Care Group

·         Adrian Scheck

·         Virginia Key Beach Park Holiday Fair

·         The JPM Centre at Miami Gardens Drive

·         Miami Book Fair International

·         All Miami Dade College campuses

·         Somerset Academy Silver Palms

·         Homestead Girl Scouts Troop 253

·         Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School

The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future through the planning, advocating and funding of quality services.

 The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College promotes reading, writing and theatre throughout South Florida though activities open to all. Its Generation Genius programs for children and teens promote literacy and learning. Its creative writing program has national appeal, with courses taught by local and visiting authors. The Center is home to Prometeo Theatre, the nation's leading Spanish language, conservatory-style program offering training for actors, and featuring performances year round. In 2012, the Center celebrated its tenth year with a renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts. The Center collaborates with a number of cultural institutions and other partners in South Florida, and throughout the state, to create innovative or theme-based initiatives year-round.  

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings through MDCulture, its cultural affairs department, including the Miami Book Fair International, the Center @ MDC, the Miami International Film Festival, MDC Live Arts performing arts series, the Cuban Cinema Series, the Miami Leadership Roundtable speakers’ series, numerous renowned campus art galleries and Theatres, and the nationally recognized School of Entertainment and Design Technology. With an enrollment of more than 165,000students, MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is a national model for many of its programs. The college’s seven campuses and two outreach centers offer more than 300 academic pathways leading to baccalaureate degrees, associate in arts and science degrees and numerous career training certificates leading to in-demand jobs. MDC has served more than 2,000,000 students since it opened its doors in 1960.




To support Read to Learn Books for Free, call or e-mail 305-237-3298 or For more information on The Children’s Trust, please visit For more information about The Center, please visit




Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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