As the community adjusts to life during the pandemic, G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds has been on the ground distributing more than 5,000 books to the community through local book drives.

The program, which stands for Gwinnett Reading Exchange & Art Transforms Little Minds, is a program of the Gwinnett Coalition of Health & Human Services.

This summer, the program will continue to provide kids access to books. Despite being in unprecedented times, G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds is hoping to donate at least another 5,000 books to be used in book exchanges across the county.

So far, the Gwinnett Coalition has confirmed 12 locations for book drives. The most recent to join the effort is the Snellville Police Department, which G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds Program Coordinator Lecia Young described as a “thriving partnership.”

“The Snellville Police Department is proud to partner with the Gwinnett Coalition allowing us to serve as a book donation site for the G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds program,” Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said. “Engaging young people and encouraging reading and appreciation for public art will help them to succeed. Resources are always scarce and anything our department can do to assist or facilitate access to them is part of our mission.”

Snellville Police Department officials said the department believes in community-oriented policing to ensure a collaborative partnership with its citizens in order to improve the quality of life and livability of everyone in the city.

Already, the police department’s donation site has several books, including “If I Were an Atlanta Brave” and “Dragons Love Tacos 2.”

G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds is a public art and public awareness campaign designed to inspire the love of reading, provide access to early learning children’s books in areas where books are scarce and encourage appreciation for public art in Gwinnett County.

With only 48% of students entering Gwinnett County Public Schools ready for kindergarten curriculum, increasing access to books over the summer is critical, Young said.

New or gently used children’s books in any language for ages 0-8 will be accepted at the Snellville Police Department Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The department is located at 2315 Wisteria Drive SW, Snellville.

The book exchanges function on an honor system. If someone takes a book, they do not need to return that exact book, but should contribute another book to ensure there are always quality books inside.

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