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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 1:57pm

State Sends Poor, Foster Kids Free Books

A state agency is buying children's books to give to low-income kids and foster care children.

The Department of Human Services is partnering with a non-profit literacy group to distribute thousands of age-appropriate books.

The agreement between DHS and the Ferst Foundation involves about 43,000 kids in the state's Childcare and Parent Services program.

The kids will get a book a month from birth until age five, with the state's cost estimated at $1.4 million a year.

The Foundation's James Locklin says, the idea is to combat illiteracy.

"Anyone who has kids knows that when kids have books, they wants those books read. They want to experiences those books," Locklins says. "By providing these services, the state is trying to give the most at-risk kids in the state an equal playing field."

State Human Services Commissioner BJ Walkers says, 61% of low-income families don't have a single piece of child-appropriate reading material.

The Ferst Foundation has been distributing books privately for ten-years.

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