June has been a busy month for Book ‘Em. We delivered 100 books to The Mentor’s Project of Bibb County so that the 50 students taking part in their summer program could select two books to keep. We continued to supply books to the BCSO patrol headquarters downtown for patrol deputies to distribute. The Weekend Lunch Program for the homeless at Christ Episcopal Church also received 40 books to replenish their supply for children who come there for meals on weekends.

Thanks to a grant from The Linda Harriet Lane Fund, administered by The Community Foundation of Central Georgia, we will be able to purchase close to 2,000 books specifically for patrol deputies to distribute while making rounds in Macon-Bibb. Book ‘Em went on a ride-along with BCSO Patrol Deputy Tommy Harris to kick off this effort. Deputy Harris spent two hours of his busy day taking us to search for children on the streets of Macon-Bibb. We visited Memorial Gym on Second Street. The kids participating in their summer program were on a field trip, so we moved on to East Macon. We visited the Family Investment Center and our friend, Rhonda Miller, whose Girl Scout Troop we delivered books to in 2018. While there, we were introduced to Roger Jackson, Executive Director of the Motivating Youth Foundation. Mr. Jackson was busy preparing lunch for the 50 children/youth attending MOYO’s summer camp. We discussed planning a book distribution day with him later this summer as well. Deputy Harris spent time talking with some of the youth there and answering their questions about everything from doughnuts to tasers. From there, we went in search of unsuspecting children to “book.” As we drove through Davis Homes, we spotted a precious 3-year-old boy walking hand-in-hand with his dad. Deputy Harris pulled the BCSO cruiser alongside the duo. I rolled down the passenger side window and told them that we needed for them to stop so that we could get out and book them. At first, they were a bit taken aback, but as soon as they saw the basket full of new books we pulled out of the car, they were all smiles! I suspect that one little 3-year-old is enjoying his new set of six Marvel Superhero books that he took home with him. They also picked out a Doc McStuffin’s book for his baby sister. From there, we moved on to the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood. We spotted three young children on their front porch, escaping the heat. They were delighted to be “booked” with several classics including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Go Dog, Go.,” chapter books for the older sister, and board books for their baby brother. Several other children spotted us while we were “booking” and came over to be booked, themselves!

We will continue these surprise ride-along trips to “Book ‘Em” regularly moving forward. A special thank you to Major Kelvin Harris for arranging our ride-along today with the wonderful Deputy Tommy Harris.