The ‘Traveling Tree House’ hits Philadelphia streets with free books for children

PHILADELPHIA – “I have always loved reading,” said High School teacher Leonard Chester. “It just reminds me of my childhood, when I couldn’t stand these books at book fairs.”

Today, Chester ensures that this generation of children will not have to reach into their pockets to read a good book.

The Dobbins High School teacher is also the director of Outreach at Tree House Books, a free library in North Philadelphia dedicated to distributing tens of thousands of books to local children. In 2019, they donated over 81,000 books. But when the COVID-19 pandemic began to take root, their annual total dropped to about 50,000.

“Our library could not be opened because of COVID,” said Tree House Books Executive Director Michael Brix. “We thought, what is something we could start that will replace it for now, but then we will also have a legacy and be able to survive COVID?”

Their answer came in the form of a library. He received the project thanks to donations from the entire community.

Many local organizations donated to the cause, including a small business called Littlebags by Anna. Its founder, Anna Welsh, is a 16-year-old student from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

“One of our lines is that we are cultivating the planet and the next generation,” he said. “So for every little bag sold, 15% of the revenue goes to Treehouse Books to really help their initiatives.”

Wales was present at the new Treehouse Books mobile library. He has donated more than $ 11,000 to place quality books in the hands of Philadelphia children.

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