CommUNITY Champion, Colette Charles, brings free books to kids

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A Sacramento woman is making sure more children have access to their own books at home. Colette Charles is the executive director of Serve Sacramento. She’s also our KCRA 3 CommUNITY Champion, honoring people who have made a difference in our community. “If you have a parent and a child sitting and reading together exchanging what they just read, now we have communication,” Charles said. “We cut off the TV, we put down those computer games, you know, we put the phone down.” Charles delivers the free books to more than a dozen locations in Sacramento. That includes schools, community centers and women’s shelters. Some of the children receiving the books have a background of trauma in their family. “If a child can take that book into their room and have a safe place and read and they’re not listening to that trauma or feeling that trauma for that brief moment and they’re able to explore, that’s safety,” she said.One of the locations where the books are distributed is the Roberts Family Development Center. The center’s co-founder said it helps broaden the imagination of kids who come there for after-school programs. “A book gives kids access. Access to ideas, places they may have not been yet, places to go, things to do,” said Derrell Roberts, co-founder of Roberts Family Development Center.Serve Sacramento also has a summer program. Charles said it helps keep kids out of trouble and on the right track at school. High school senior Maya Lee participated in the math summer program for five years. “It’s a fun way to interact with kids while keeping your brain learning during the summer so you don’t come back to school confused,” Lee said. The organization relies on volunteers, donations and a big dose of dedication from Charles. “I’m praying that these children go to college or receive some formal type of education that will foster a healthy lifestyle for these children. That’s my goal,” Charles said.

A Sacramento woman is making sure more children have access to their own books at home.

Colette Charles is the executive director of Serve Sacramento. She’s also our KCRA 3 CommUNITY Champion, honoring people who have made a difference in our community.

“If you have a parent and a child sitting and reading together exchanging what they just read, now we have communication,” Charles said. “We cut off the TV, we put down those computer games, you know, we put the phone down.”

Charles delivers the free books to more than a dozen locations in Sacramento. That includes schools, community centers and women’s shelters. Some of the children receiving the books have a background of trauma in their family.

“If a child can take that book into their room and have a safe place and read and they’re not listening to that trauma or feeling that trauma for that brief moment and they’re able to explore, that’s safety,” she said.

One of the locations where the books are distributed is the Roberts Family Development Center. The center’s co-founder said it helps broaden the imagination of kids who come there for after-school programs.

“A book gives kids access. Access to ideas, places they may have not been yet, places to go, things to do,” said Derrell Roberts, co-founder of Roberts Family Development Center.

Serve Sacramento also has a summer program. Charles said it helps keep kids out of trouble and on the right track at school.

High school senior Maya Lee participated in the math summer program for five years.

“It’s a fun way to interact with kids while keeping your brain learning during the summer so you don’t come back to school confused,” Lee said.

The organization relies on volunteers, donations and a big dose of dedication from Charles.

“I’m praying that these children go to college or receive some formal type of education that will foster a healthy lifestyle for these children. That’s my goal,” Charles said.

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