Published: Jan 12, 2013 2:43 PM EST
Updated: Jan 12, 2013 11:35 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla -- Big Rig Books has rolled into town just in time to help local nonprofit K is for Kids® Foundation launch its literacy month in February and get books collected into the hands of children faster.

“K is for Kids is thrilled to announce it has entered into a collaboration with Big Rig Books to distribute books to children -- and the timing couldn't be better. What better way to launch our literacy month than to have a big rig pull up to schools with a beautiful bookmobile full of new books for the students? We know they’ll be so excited!” said Karen Clawson, K is for Kids founder and executive director. “We also trust the bookmobile will also stir wonderful memories for many parents and grandparents as well.”

Equally important, Clawson explained, is that books collected during K is for Kids’ Bring a Book, Bring a Friend for Children’s Literacy Month – an annual celebration the Foundation launches each February featuring multiple events, fundraisers and book drives -- will reach students faster. “The delivery of large quantities of books in the past has always been cumbersome for our teen volunteer-based organization. Now, thanks to Big Rig Books, we can get these books into the hands of kids almost immediately.”

Big Rig Books is a literacy initiative recently established by John Gervase with his wife Kathy for children living in under served communities in Chicago and Southwest Florida, where they are seasonal residents. “Up until a few months ago, my wife, Kathy, and I had no idea how serious the literacy issue is that our under served youth face,” explained Gervase. “We did a lot of research on the subject and we found that it is so important for children to have books of
their own in their homes. We decided to invest our time and resources to do what we can to provide as many books as possible to these at-risk kids so they have a better chance for a better future.”

Seeking a way to make a difference locally, an acquaintance suggested that Gervase reach out to K is for Kids, a local teen volunteer-based nonprofit whose mission of giving kids in need more books to read mirrors his. Gervase approached Clawson about helping the Foundation distribute books to its grant recipients and the two organizations forged an agreement. "By partnering with K is for Kids,” Gervase said, “we are sure to make an impact in children's literacy in Southwest Florida."

The Big Rig’s bookmobile is a 35-foot trailer with the capacity to hold upwards of 7000 books and is wrapped with cool graphics that match a Peterbilt semi-truck with custom paint, chrome and lots of lights. And it arrives with a new twist: The kids who climb on board will be able to check out a new book to take home and keep. “It’s a great way to stir children’s imaginations and encourage them to read more,” notes Clawson. “Plus students will be building their own book nooks at home and encouraging everyone to read more as they share their new books with their families.”