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   Captain Book inspires kids to read

Every year, Captain Book and his crew, deliver scores of free hand-made, hand-decorated treasure chests and thousands of free books to pre-school-through-primary grade children. The Good Ship Literacy goes to schools and other agencies where teachers pick out free books for their students and/or classroom libraries. By putting books in the hands of children who might not otherwise have them, Captain Book and members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Encintas are changing the world one child at a time.

 The Captain and his crew are made up of members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Encinitas and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Encinitas Foundation. Community members volunteer their time by donating and sorting books, building and decorating treasure chests and donating money to keep The Good Ship Literacy afloat.

 The Treasure Chest Literacy Program started in 2000, when retired theater professor Dr. Morris Pike and Kiwanis Cub of Greater Encinitas charter member Larry Marquardt built six treasure chests, filled them with 40 books each and gave them to the Magdalena Ecke YMCA. By late 2002, Dr. Pike created the good pirate Captain Book who continues to visit classrooms inspiring children to read. Dressing in his finest pirate attire and singing his finest pirate songs, he tells tales about sailing ships and the brave men and women who sailed them. He writes each child’s name in his Magic Code Book when they promise him they’ll “read, read, read”.

 Captain Book continues to visit classrooms, libraries and hospitals in and around San Diego County, giving free books thousands of children.

The Captain's Magic Code Book. 


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Captain Book works his magic.

Dear Captain Book,

I wanted to say thank you for the very impressive presentation the other day. You are AMAZING!!! The kids are so excited about reading and their new treasure chest of books. I honestly think that the book treasures will be more valuable than the prizes that I give out in class. I am very happy about that. Your stories were so engaging and you truly had the attention of all the children including ones that are sometimes more challenging. The kids loved your stories and tricks. You really instilled in them a love of reading and the lessons are something they will take with them for a lifetime.”

Thank you,

Holly Gorman, 1st grade teacher,
Rosa Parks Elementary, Riverside, California


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The Greater Encinitas Kiwanis Club is a chapter of Kiwanis Division 37