They don’t have wings or wands, but there’s no doubt that Amy Zaslansky and her team of volunteers are The Book Fairies.
“If a child says I don’t like to read it’s because they haven’t found the right book.” Zaslansky said. “I think that people don’t realize how important reading is and being able to read, how that is able to change your life.”
Zaslansky’s changing lives, taking books that are no longer wanted and putting them in the hands of New York kids who don’t have access to reading material.
"These teachers have no books in their classrooms. They know the kids don’t have any books in their homes. So to be able to come into the warehouse and walk out with the necessary tools that these children need to progress," she said.
She started her not-for-profit five years ago with a book drive to help local teachers. But the books kept coming – into her garage, her living room.
Then they made their way into her kitchen.
“By the time the kids were climbing over books to serve dinner on the dinner table we said ok we need to find a warehouse," said Zaslansky.
Today, with a team of dozens of volunteers, her mission to foster literacy and academic success churns out tens of thousands of books a month to teachers and non-profits in the metropolitan area.
Organizations like the one Mark Grashow runs.
"I’m shifting because I’m loading 120 boxes into that cargo van that’s going to a container that’s going to Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa," said Grashow.
And Zaslansky says she couldn’t do any of it without the dedication of her volunteers.
"My joy is the free book fair. The children come in and some of them are sad. And we say this is a special kind of book fair – where the book fairies will let you have two books of your choice," said Joyce Paley.
Pam Concannon said she likes brining books to foster children living in emergency shelters or group homes because "they don’t always have access to a library or they may not have a library card."
But maybe now, they’ll find the passion for sitting down and diving into a good read.