Students at Franklin County School reading [ BMABFC | Contributed ]
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Book bonanzas help stymie ‘summer slide’

Last year the newly renamed Bring Me A Book Forgotten Coast held its first Book Bonanza with a grant from Duke Energy Foundation. The non-profit gave away books to elementary students in Franklin County at the end of the school year to ensure kids had reading material of their own choosing to engage them over the summer, and to reduce the “summer slide” that young readers can experience if they spend the summer with no classroom time and no reading practice. 

This year Bring Me A Book Forgotten Coast received generous grants from Duke as well as the St. Joe Community Foundation and the Beatitude Foundation from Tallahassee.

These funds covered the cost of providing four books to every elementary student in both Franklin and Gulf counties. In May 2024, 6,336 books in Franklin and Gulf Counties were given away, impacting 1,584 children.

Katrina, Melanie, Amy and John from Port St. Joe helped label books in the Bloom Room. [ BMABFC | Contributed ]

In February 2024 the nonprofit’s name was changed from Bring Me a Book Franklin, Inc. to Bring Me a Book Forgotten Coast, Inc. The organization has been working in Gulf County for years to provide free books for pediatricians to give out to parents at children’s regular medical check-ups. 

“The new name better reflects the geography of the area served,” said Karen Kessel. program coordinator. “We are still the same 501(c)3 charitable organization; the only thing different is the name.”

Earlier this year, Apalachicola’s PorchFest committee selected Bring Me a Book Forgotten Coast as the designated charity for the 2024 event on Saturday, Oct. 12. Proceeds will help the nonprofit to continue to ignite the passion to read in young children. 

The second annual Love of Literacy Benefit is slated for Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Coombs Armory in Apalachicola. Tickets for this fun and entertaining evening will go on sale in November. 

“Bring Me A Book Forgotten Coast is making a difference in our communities,” said Kessel. “Reading to young children has been shown to play a critical role in helping develop the language and communication skills kids need to succeed in life.”

A perfect combination is boys and their books, at Port St. Joe Elementary School. [ BMABFC | Contributed ]

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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