FRESNO, Calif. - A nine year old girl, Danay Ferguson, wants to end illiteracy in Fresno County. She's trying to do that by collecting hundreds of thousands of books for children. So many books, she hopes to break a world record.
"I first started reading in kindergarten at four," Danay says that's when her passion for reading began. "My favorite thing about reading is that you get to learn a lesson at the end of the book."
But soon after, she found out there weren't enough books for children in Fresno County. "What I am going to do to change that is that I am going to give every kid in Fresno a book," Danay said.
Her parents helped her launch the non profit organization Reading Heart, giving books to children at Valley Children's Hospital and working with the Fresno Sheriff's Department so deputies have books in their patrol cars to give to children.
"She renews that faith that we believe that all kids are amazing, this is such a giving and loving child," Superintendent Jim Yovino said. He added that less than 40 percent of children begin school ready for kindergarten and Fresno is the 8th least literate city in America.
"She goes out and speaks to other children about how important it is to read. She's almost like a secret weapon to encourage children to read," Dwayne Ferguson said.
Danay hopes to gather 500,000 books in 24 hours on March 18th as she also tries to break a Guiness world record. The Fresno County Office of Education donated enough money to buy 1,000 books
"All I want her to remember is her having fun while saving the world at the same time," Ferguson said.
Danay will be able to teach a lesson at the end of a story. Fresno is writing a book in which Danay is the super hero.
The 24-hour book drive will be held on Friday, March 18th beginning at 3pm through Saturday March 19th at 3pm at Chuckchansi Park. People can donate new or used books but they can also donate money. For every $5 raised, Scholastic will provide four new books to the drive.
For more information on how to help go to: www.readingheart.org