One of 2-year-old Sebastian Erickson’s favorite things to do is grab a book off the bookshelf, sit in his father’s lap and point to things in the story.
His son’s exuberance for reading is a big part of Nolan Erickson’s motivation to hike the Lansing River Trail with a backpack full of children’s books to donate to the Capital Area District Library.
“It’s been remarkable to watch (Sebastian’s) language skills grow … and reading is an essential part of that development,” Erickson said. “I want to make sure every kid gets that opportunity.”
At 10 a.m. Saturday, August 22nd 2015, Erickson will host Lansing’s first “Ruck for Reading,” where anyone is welcome to bring a few new children’s books to donate and join Erickson on a walk along the Lansing River Trail.
The group will walk about two miles from the Turner Dodge House to the downtown Lansing branch of the Capital Area District Library to deliver the books. For those who would like to continue on, the walk will continue an additional four miles to the Steakhouse Philly restaurant on the eastern end of the river trail.
Erickson, who works as an attorney at Church Wyble, P.C. in Lansing, said the term “rucking” refers to “hiking under a load with a purpose.” Inspired by some friends in Detroit who deliver clothes and bedding directly to homeless people in the area, Erickson wanted to combine his love of hiking with a way to give back to the community.
“This kind of started as an opportunity to invest in the community and enrich the lives of our kids here,” Erickson said. “It’s a nice opportunity to see Lansing and the great river trail that we have here, and do something meaningful at the same time.”
Erickson said he has already received about 50 children’s books from people who couldn’t come for the hike but still wanted to donate to the library.
“There’s no contribution too small,” Erickson said. “Even one book is going to be read by many children.”
The Capital Area District Library provided Erickson with a list of popular children’s and young adult books that are always in demand at their locations. They include:
“Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Connor
“Pete the Cat” by Eric Litwin, James Dean or Kimberly Dean
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney
“Junie B. Jones” by Barbara Park
The “If you give…” series of books by Laura Numeroff (“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” for example)
“Theodore Boone” by John Grisham
“Magic Treehouse” by Mary Pope Osborne
“Big Nate” by Lincoln Peirce
“Elephant & Piggie” by Mo Willems
“Dork Diaries” by Rachel Renee Russell
“Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling
“Pinkalicious” by Victoria Kann
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
“Mr. Pants” by Scott McCormick
“Ellie McDoodle” by Ruth McNally Barshaw
“Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey
“Bad Kitty” by Nick Bruel
“Babymouse” by Jennifer Holm
“I Funny” by James Patterson
“Fly Guy” by Tedd Arnold