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Books & Cooks

Books & Cooks is a new initiative created in partnership with UF IFAS Extension and the Lastinger Center for Learning’s New Worlds Reading Initiative. 

Books & Cooks is an educational curriculum focused on literacy, nutrition and food security, and parenting practices with select children and families in New Worlds Reading. Over the course of seven weeks, educational sessions highlight different children’s books, cooking demonstrations and reading activities.  In addition, families share their experiences to measure the impact of the Books & Cooks program. This Spring’s program delivered in seven counties: Alachua, Miami-Dade, Polk, Broward, Columbia, Hamilton, and Jackson.

What is Books & Cooks?

Books & Cooks is a seven-week literacy and nutrition program for select children enrolled in the New Worlds Reading Initiative and their families.

Each week, educational sessions highlight a different children’s book and will include:

  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Nutrition education
  • Caregiver-child reading activities 

Why participate?

Each week, participating families receive:

  • Free childcare
  • Free dinner
  • Take-home meals

Who is eligible?

  • K-5 children and families in Alachua, Miami-Dade, Polk, Broward, Columbia, Hamilton and Jackson counties who are already enrolled in New Worlds Reading, and who consent to participate in the research study to measure the impact of the Books & Cooks program.

Learn more

To learn more about the Books & Cooks program, email

To learn more about New Worlds Reading, visit