A 4-year-old Chicago boy is inspiring others to share the gift of reading after thousands watched him read 100 books in one day on Facebook Live.
Caleb Green committed himself to reading 100 different books last Saturday, including his favorites about Ninja turtles and dogs. When ABC Chicago station WLS-TV asked him why he wanted to read so many books, Caleb’s response was simple. “I like to read and I want to read more like my sister,” he said.
Taken aback by the young boy’s request, Caleb’s father, Sylus Green, told the television station he initially had the “gut reaction to talk him down a little bit” but Caleb pushed and said, “’No, I want to read 100.’”
Empowered by his son’s passion and ambition, Green said, “I learned to just dream bigger and I am going to set unrealistic goals for myself this coming year and I’m going to be inspired by Caleb to not quit on him and just push through it.”
Since Caleb’s online marathon, the Green family has received an overwhelmingly heartfelt response from the community. Several organizations, including local children’s book publisher Albert Whitman and Co., have donated books to both Caleb and his 7-year-old sister, Jael, and have pledged to donate books to other children in the Chicago area.
Wanting as many children as possible to benefit from his son’s latest endeavor, Green reached out to local author Candace Edwards about finding books for Chicago’s depleted school libraries. Edwards, who said she was happy to help, donated 500 copies of her children’s book, “I Love My Skin,” which will be distributed throughout Chicago’s South Side.
“Not everybody can afford to fill up their child’s bookshelves ... even teachers need help filling up their bookshelves, so why not help?” Edwards said to WLS.
Impressed by the efforts Caleb and his family have made to make reading a core part of their lives and the lives of hundreds of children throughout Chicago, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White invited the Green family to be honored at an African-American heritage event next month, WLS reported.
Caleb continues to read several books a day. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Caleb told the station, “I want to be a basketball player. When I am 22, I want to be an astronaut and when I’m 23, I want to be a Ninja Turtle.”