FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The book called “Henry the Brave Little Tractor” was written by Central Valley native Morris Garcia who passed away in December. His son, Kevin Garcia, wanted to continue the legacy of his father and believes donating the books to law enforcement is the perfect way to do just that.
“I was on the internet somehow and just floated across this Reading Posse program and said that would be awesome, that’s unbelievable to have the deputies be driving around and when they make contact with some kids to give them one of these books and help them read and everything else and he would have loved that,” said Kevin Garcia.
Once a librarian and having a passion for developing reading habits in children, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims started the Reading Posse program in 2012 — a crime-fighting initiative to improve literacy in Fresno County.
“We know that 60 percent of the people incarcerated across our nation are illiterate. Here locally, in Fresno County, our kids in juvenile hall are reading three to four grades below where they should be. So, it stands to reason, if we improve literacy, we can reduce the crime rate,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
Handing out the story of “Henry the Brave Little Tractor,” aims to not only improve the relationship between law enforcement and youth in the community, longtime friend of the author, Assembly Member Jim Patterson says Garcia wrote with purpose.
“Which is basically to have a fun read, a historic read and an introduction to children who may not fully understand agriculture and the origins of our food even though they may live in Central California. We miss Maury, but there’s a legacy here that will expand and help a hundred young people read about a story of a brave tractor and maybe it will encourage them to grow up to be a brave and caring people.”
Henry the tractor is named after a real, working tractor and is able to be seen through Kevin Garcia.