Children and families in metro Detroit will be getting their hands on more books thanks to the generosity of the community.

Local 4 teamed up with schools across metro Detroit and collected more than 40,000 books for the United Way for Southeastern Michigan during Education Nation in March.   Local 4 worked with NBC News to bring Education Nation to metro Detroit shining a spotlight on education in our community.

For the past several weeks, the United Way has been sorting and organizing the 40,000 plus books so they can be repurposed in the community.  The books will be used at the United Way's 65 early learning communities, their high school and hospital partners.

Thursday the United Way for Southeastern Michigan is holding a 'Rich out to Read' event to say thank you to the community.  

It's being held from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. at The Guidance Center at 550 Eaton Street in River Rouge.

The agency said the event will "include an opportunity to assist agencies in collecting requested books, a healthy snack for all participants, literacy and art activities, and information on how you can become a reading champion in your community."

The Early Learning Communities are centers in metro Detroit where parents, caregivers, friends and neighbors can meet others, develop support networks and learn "current best practices and developing childcare skills."  The United Way said it has 65 Early Learning Communities in 10 of metro Detroit's high need communities.

The following schools and school districts participated in the book drive in March:  Grosse Pointe Public Schools, Center Line Public Schools, Bloomfield Hills Schools, Fraser Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, West Bloomfield School District, Northville Public Schools, and Utica Community Schools.