Children’s book swap goes free for parents

Published 12:08 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

LULING — Children and parents looking for new books to enjoy this summer need to look no further than the inaugural children’s book swap that runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 20 at the United Way office in Luling.

Organizers said they recognized it is summertime, and the community needs to do its best to keep children engaged in learning.

“Summer reading is so important so children don’t regress during the summer from all the things they learned during the school year,” United Way Campaign and Marketing Manager Melissa Frederick said. “The library does a really great job with their summer reading program for kids and adults. Piggy backing off of that, we knew this would be a really good opportunity for us to get involved and help freshen the libraries of kids.”

The first year effort is targeting early childhood through fifth grade reading levels, and organizers are leaving open the possibility of expanding future swaps in subsequent years.

Families are encouraged to bring books their child no longer reads and exchange them for “new” titles a young boy or girl would be excited to read. Those who would like to donate beforehand will receive a swap voucher to bring back the day of the event to use in collecting new titles.

Book donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday at the United Way of St. Charles office, 13207 River Road in Luling.

The first 100 children to arrive will receive a free, signed copy of Beaux the Blue Crawfish written by local author Wendy Cartozzo, who will serve as the event’s story time reader.

Representatives from the St. Charles Parish Public Library will also be on hand.

“The library will be telling people about the things the library has, the things we do and signing people up for our summer reading program,” Public Relations Librarian Lauren Pitz said. “We think reading is very important, and anything that keeps kids reading in the summer when school is not in session is really great.

“Reading is fundamental. It’s a cornerstone of society. The less time teachers have to take at the beginning of the school year reviewing things with students, the better for everybody. We are doing everything we can to keep kids’ skills up and stress the importance of reading to the parents and the students.”

The Children’s Book Swap will include bookmark making, story time, a photo station and free snowballs. Local author Lee Stephen will be in attendance to answer any questions children have about becoming a writer.

United Way of St. Charles organizers said the children’s book swap is made possible through funding provided by Monsanto.

For more information, visit or call 985-331-9063.