Northland News

Event aims to put books into children's hands

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
Taressa Caldwell sits amid some of the books she has collected and plans to distribute July 25 to children in Columbus to help promote literacy. The books will be given away from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Maloney Park, 17th and Joyce avenues in theSouth Linden neighborhood.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Taressa Caldwell follows her passions.

While majoring in journalism and public relations at Northern Kentucky University, the 24-year-old Northland woman stumbled upon event planning.

"It became a passion of mine," Caldwell said last week. "Once I graduated, I decided to pursue that passion and go ahead and work for myself."

She now gears her business, Magnificent Affairs, primarily to parties and other events for children, because they, too, are her passion.

And recently, based on things she observed while working at a day care center as she was getting ready to launch her business, Caldwell has begun collecting new and used children's books because reading is another of her passions, and she simply cannot imagine a childhood spent in a home without books.

"You learn so much through a book, and some families can't afford them; it's not a top priority for them to buy books for kids," Caldwell said.

The first of what Caldwell hopes will be an ongoing series of efforts to put more books in the hands of children is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Maloney Park at 17th and Joyce avenues in the South Linden neighborhood where she was reared.

"I know the kinds of homes these kids grew up in," she said.

Caldwell has gathered dozens of new and gently used books for children ranging from the very young to age 12, but she can always use more. She's willing to accept donations or even pick up books.

"With my program, I come to you, I set up shop in a local park, at day care centers and with individuals, and I offer books to keep," she said. "Once you see the look on a child's face once they received that book -- oh, it's priceless."

Caldwell saw the other side of that coin during the year and a half she worked at a Northland-area day care center.

"A lot of them didn't have books at home," she said. "We would have book days, and some children didn't have any to bring from home.

" It just kind of hurt my feelings. My mother always, always made sure I had books. I loved books. I could read an entire book in just one day.

"It was so shocking to me to see these little kids who had not one book."

Deliveries or pickups can be arranged by calling Caldwell at 614-446-4785 or by email through the contact box on the website of her business, magnificentaffairs.com.

"I'm always looking for volunteers and people to help out," she said.

Based on the response July 25 at Maloney Park, Caldwell will determine how frequently to hold additional events, under the auspices of what she is calling the Creative Brain Book Exchange.

She eventually hopes to set up a system where families can sign up for children's books and then return those their little ones don't want to keep for others.

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