West Philly businesses host community book depots

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West Philly businesses host community book depots. Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4pm on October 5, 2017. (WPVI)

There's something pretty special, and some say critical, happening in West Philadelphia.

30 businesses will be hosting what are called community book depots up and down Lancaster Avenue.

The work like free mini-libraries, but the best part is? Families can keep the books!

The idea is to pick a book and read it as a family.

One of those businesses is Leroy's Barber Shop.

"It's a family business. We get family people coming in. We get to see kids grow up, go to college, get married, be successful and do all kinds of great things that benefit the community," said barber Leroy Robinson Jr.

"If we bring the books to the community, then we can stop the epidemic and reach our kids where they are. Some of the parents don't have the resources to purchase books on their own," said Brittney Smalls, the Family Support Coordinator at Action for Early Learning.

Smalls said statistics show that if a child does not read by 4th grade, there is a greater chance he or she will end up in prison.

This initiative is a collaboration between the West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning and other neighborhood groups.

The group hopes to expand the number of participating businesses to 100 or more.

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