Books for Kids in Family Court
Louise Rogers, a volunteer from the City's Foster Grandparent Program, reads to Christopher (right) while his brother Kevin enjoys his own book.

A story in The New York Times this summer about Legal Aid's Books For Kids Project to provide books for the children who come to the Family Court has resulted in donations of thousands of books new and used- and will help to expand the book project to Legal Aid Family Court offices in all five boroughs. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP just completed a book drive at the law firm resulting in 17 cartons of children's books for the project. Citigroup is about to start a drive.

The Books For Kids Project was developed by social workers and lawyers at Legal Aid's Manhattan Juvenile Rights office located in the New York County Family Court building. A storage closet was transformed into a reading room for children involved in the court system. Staff painted the room with lively colors and received donations of furniture, pillows and book cases from family and friends. Children are encouraged to pick a book and take it home with them. A foster grandparent from the New York City Department for the Aging's Foster Grandparent program reads to the children and helps them choose books. The goal of the project is both to make the courthouse a less daunting place for children waiting at Family Court and to encourage children involved in the court system to read by offering them books to keep as their own. The Society plans on expanding the project to its other borough Family Court offices and to offices in the Civil Practice as well.