A Frankfort school is seeking more books to give away at Franklin County Farmers Market's monthly Kids' Days.
Capital Day School last year started giving free books to children who attended Kids' Days. CDS Marketing Director Sarah Begin said the school started attending and handing out books as a way to give back to the community.
Begin said she first collected books from families whose children attend CDS. Teachers also bring in books from yard sales. Books range from board books for babies to young adult novels for teens. She said CDS gives about 350 books away each Saturday during a Kids' Day in the summer.
In order to replenish the stock of books for the rest of the Farmers Market season, Begin said, the school will probably need about 1,500 books.
Connie Lemley, a board member of the Friends of the Franklin County Farmers Market, said that Kids' Days are held on the second Saturday of each month from May to November and the first Saturday of December for a special holiday market. While the market is usually open from 8 a.m. to noon, Kids' Days are from 9 a.m. to noon, she said. Attendance usually includes 150-300 children on Kids' Days, depending on the weather. Friends of the Market, the non-profit that supports the Farmers Market, organizes Kids' Days, she said.
"Kids' Days are popular. We see far more families and kids at the market on those days," Lemley said.
Like Capital Day School, several local nonprofit organizations hold a "range of activities" for families and children during Kids' Days, such as face-painting, scavenger hunts, cornhole and more, Lemley said. Some farmers will bring animals for kids to pet during the market.
When kids enter the market, they get $2 worth of tokens to buy produce, which is supported by a different sponsor for each market, Lemley said. Kids' Days also provide a chance to teach kids about nutrition and the environment. For instance, at a recent Kids' Day, participants learned about composting.
Begin said that when Kids' Day participants first approach the CDS table, they think the books are for sale and are shocked to learn that they are free.
"We'll have a lot of kids ask for two, and so far we've had the supply," Begin said.
After picking up a book, kids and their parents will sometimes go to a grassy area to eat lunch and read the books they just received. It's rewarding to see kids have an interest in reading, Begin said.
If anyone has books to donate, they can drop them off at CDS or contact Begin at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a donation.