Local Girl’s Non-Profit Spreads Joy of Reading Across County

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By Marla Hoffman 

Since she was a little girl, nine-year-old Brianna Jack loved to read. She even joined a story time at the library in her hometown of Baileyville. 

Brianna is now trying to spread her love of reading to other children. Along with her mother, Billie Jo, Brianna formed her own non-profit called Maine Books for Maine Kids.

Her idea was to collect monetary donations to buy books, which will be distributed to under-privileged children in Washington County. 

“I love to read,” she said. “I wanted to donate books so kids can have a happier Christmas and learn to read.”

This week, Brianna and her mother donated 70 children’s books to Washington-Hancock Community Agency, who will distribute the books as needed around the county in time for Christmas. All the authors, she said, are from Maine. 

“She’s always enjoyed reading since she was little,” said Billie Jo. “We thought sticking with Maine authors was a great idea too.”

Her favorite Maine author: Chris Van Duson. 

“I’ve met her,” Brianna said. “She’s my favorite.”

To raise the money to buy the books, Brianna held fundraisers and raffles. At the recent All I Want For Christmas Expo at the Motor Inn, she raffled off an American Girl Doll, and at other events she sold cookie mixes and other goodies.

“She’s really worked for this money,” said Billie Jo.

So far, Brianna has been collecting donations for two months, and she plans on continuing after the holidays. 

Brianna, who was also crowed Miss St. Croix Valley at the October Fest in Baileyville this fall, so far has raised $1,050, including a $250 grant from the Positivity Lady, Lanette Pottle of Perry. “Those books will be donated to the Calais hospital’s Emergency Room after Christmas,” Brianna said. 

Asked how she feels about helping other children appreciate books and reading, Brianna’s answer was simple: “It makes me feel good.”

Anyone who wants to donate to Maine Books for Maine Kids can visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MaineBooksForMaineKids.