City Officials Encourage Boston Students To Read With Free Book Fair

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — With Boston students back in school, city officials made sure they had plenty of books to read at an annual free book giveaway Saturday.

The Boston Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers held its tenth annual Back-to-School Fair at union headquarters on Mount Vernon Street.

Kids and parents roamed the auditorium and hallways with more than 40,000 books at their disposal.

"Having lots of books that kids want to read is so important to increasing their literacy and love of reading," BTU President Jessica Tang told WBZ NewsRadio. "We want to make sure that all of our students have access to interesting stories and books that are reflective of their own experiences and lives, and they see themselves in the stories they’re reading too."

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper, and City Councilor Julia Mejia also attended the event, encouraging literacy and taking some books home themselves.

"I just want to say, I am going to go home with books as well," Wu said. "That is my assignment from my little guys who are having a fabulous time in first grade and third grade. This is about preparing you for life."

"Reading literally saved my life," said Mejia. "It was a way for me to escape all of the stuff that I was going through, and so reading was my way of looking at how other people were living and it gave me a little bit of sense of hope."

WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.

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