A convenience store in central Fresno, Calif., is helping motivate kids to read, using its popular Slurpees as an incentive.
Store Owner Sushil Prakash started a free children’s library inside his convenience store in response to a high crime rate in the neighborhood.
“People have nothing better to do. Kids doing graffiti. They’re trying to steal from the store. They’re into gangs. Little kids who you don’t expect them to do what they do,” he told KSFN News. “Slurpee is very, very attractive—very lucrative. So I thought if we give them a Slurpee and lure them to read, why not.”
Local kids simply borrow a book from the store library, write a report and hand it in for a free Slurpee.
“It’s a wonderful feeling. I have had so many good stories of kids that were going the wrong way and now they try to spend time at home reading,” Prakash said.
The books in the 7-Eleven library are mostly donated by Prakash’s son, but the library initiative has been so successful that nearby schools have also donated used books to help the program.