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Pay It Forward honors woman who launched children’s book club

FLORISSANT, Mo. - Book clubs for adults are popular, but where are the book clubs for young children? A Florissant woman who founded a club for kids has seen remarkable growth in less than two years.

On behalf of Fox 2 and First Bank want to reward you with a Pay It Forward gift card for all you do for nerdy girlz and nerdy boyz book clubs. You`re an amazing person and you deserve this. Oh, thank you

Akiba Thompson founded the Nerdy Girzl Book Club in 2016 and in less than two years, the club more than 200 girls. She has since started Nerdy Boyz Book Club and a club for kids between the ages of 2 and 5. Akiba said her daughter inspired her to start the club.

"She's always reading. Every time I seen her, she was always reading; laying in her bed on her floor. So I asked her if she wanted to do a book club and she was like, 'Yeah, then I can meet with my friends and we can meet every month,'" Thompson said.

She gives the donated books away for free at the meetings.

"When they come to the meeting they're excited about the books they're going to read they don't want to leave once it's time to go," Thompson said.

Local children's author Raquel Hunter nominated Thompson for the Pay It Forward award after meeting her at an event and seeing her commitment to children's literacy.

"I watch her try to balance home life and everything she needs to do with the kids and it breaks my heart that she doesn't have the support that she needs financially and emotionally and all the support that's needed for the great thing that she's doing and I feel like she deserves it.

Thompson quit her full-time job with the Missouri Department of Mental Health to devote more time to the book clubs.

"I enjoy seeing them happy just from reading a book, then doing something out of the ordinary, so I love it," Thompson said.

Tonight's Pay It Forward award is brought to you by First Bank. If you would like to nominate a deserving person for the award go to fox2now.com and look for the Pay It Forward page.