New: Book Drive Aims for 26,000 Donations in Worcester
Monday, March 12, 2012
Today is an appropriate start date since it is “Read Across America” day, and the drive will run through March 15th. Last year’s drive collected over 25,000 gently used or new books for children in the city, and committee heads John and Ann-Marie Monfredo believe this year's drive can surpass that by about 1,000.
“It is the lack books in the child’s home that poses the greatest barrier to achieving literacy,” John Monfredo said. “We hope to put those books into the hands of the children in the Worcester Public Schools during the week of June 12th as we celebrate ‘Literacy Week’ in our community.”
Worcester: The City That Reads is a volunteer group that works to promote literacy awareness across Worcester. The books collected by the committee will be distributed to social agencies, summer schools, health centers and other entities that work with children.
The timing of the book distribution is designed to fight the “summer slide,” a phenomenon that explains how lower income students are most susceptible to falling behind on their reading skills over the summer. It is also designed to give students a wide array of books to read, so that they can discover what they enjoy reading.
With these efforts, the committee hopes to cut into staggering illiteracy numbers. Since 1983, over 10 million students have reached the 12th grade without basic literacy skills, and children who enter school without some background in reading are three to four times more likely to drop-out in later years. To give to the book drive, you can drop books off at the Worcester Public Library or many high schools and colleges in the area. The complete list can be found on the library's website.
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