DURHAM, N.C. — A nonprofit that gives free books to families received a major boost from a billionaire philanthropist.

Reach Out and Read just received $8 million from MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

What You Need To Know

  • Reach Out and Read recently received $8 million from MacKenzie Scott 

  •  The nonprofit gives free books to families

  •  The books are distributed through pediatrician's offices

  • There are 389 practices participating in N.C.

Reach Out and Read distributes free books through pediatrician offices nationwide. 

Alex Hurdle, a teacher in Durham County, sees the benefit not only in her own family’s life, but in her students' as well. 

“By the time I see kids, we are trying to learn how to read. And so at this young age, just getting them familiar with the pages, how to turn a book, really like just getting excited about what a book can offer," Hurdle said.

The nonprofit helps children bond with their family and build emotional connections through reading.

“Every child deserves a chance to be able to take books home with them, not have to return them to the library. Really get to make these books a part of their home and their daily routine," Hurdle said. 

There are 389 pediatrician offices in North Carolina currently participating in Reach Out and Read.