| | Advanced Search

 

Horowitz: News Literacy: An Essential Skill in the Age of the Internet—Horowitz: News Literacy: An Essential Skill in the…

Massachusetts Gas Prices Down Five Cents—Massachusetts gasoline prices have dropped five cents from…

Angiulo: Non-Violent Drug Offenders May See Federal Prison Stays Shortened—Angiulo: Non-Violent Drug Offenders May See Federal Prison…

Smart Benefits: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee Due July 31—The Affordable Care Act created the Patient-Centered Outcomes…

Harvard Baseball’s Martin Dominates All-Star Skills Competition—Harvard Baseball's Martin Dominates All-Star Skills Competition

College Admissions: 6 Ways To Ace The College Interview—It can really make a difference...

Worcester State University to Present Faculty Art Exhibit—Worcester State University will present the 2014 Faculty…

What Central Massachusettsans Used to Do in the Summer—GoLocalWorcester has has compiled a list of nostalgic…

Monfredo: Worcester East Middle Library Transformed into Something Special—Monfredo: Worcester East Middle Library Transformed into Something…

MA Gas Tax Opponents Launch Video Campaign—MA Gas Tax Opponents Launch Video Campaign

 
 

Monfredo: How to Help Worcester Reach Goal of 30,000 Donated Books

Saturday, March 22, 2014

 

Photo: Flickr/John Morgan

The kick off for the eighth annual book drive by Worcester: the City that Reads Committee to collect books (Prek to grade 8) for summer reading began just two weeks ago and thus far we have collected over 60 boxes of books. The Committee was founded by my wife, Anne-Marie Monfredo and me nine years ago in an attempt to promote literacy in our community, put books into the hands of children lacking in those resources and to promote the importance of being a life time reader. In seven years our group has given out over 170,000 books to the children in this community!

Last year was outstanding for we collected over 30,000 children’s books. Traditionally, each year the books are distributed to low-income students, social agencies, and groups with summer school programs. In addition, books have also been given to schools and groups during the year for special projects.

Books have also been given to Head Start, Rainbow Child Development, the African Education Institute, the Y.W.C.A., to church groups with summer reading programs, United Way programs and to many other social agencies. In addition, we provide some of the hard covered books collected to schools that are starting their own school libraries and to the “Books for Babies” Worcester Public Schools program. Books will be distributed to the schools during “Reading In Our City Week” initiated by “Worcester: the City that Reads” during the second week in June.

In an attempt to spread the importance of literacy in our community we also would like the schools and the Worcester Public Library to conduct a book swap when they return from their summer break as a way of continuing the importance of reading throughout the year. We want to keep the books circulating.

We would like to thank Charter Communication, Channel three for not only establishing a television program after our committee, “Worcester: the City that Reads” hosted by Hank Stolz, but by informing the public on the book drive through a series of mini commercials. It has been a real community effort by many organizations in the city.

The importance of literacy

According to the research on literacy, challenges not only exist in Worcester but across the nation. Sixty-one percent of low-income families in the nation have no children’s books in the home. In low income neighborhoods, there is an average of only one-age appropriate book for every 300 children.

Studies clearly indicate that children in homes that have books are more likely to succeed in school, while children who don’t have adequate reading resources are much more likely to drop out of school. A research continues to point out that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success – regardless of family background.

My wife, Anne-Marie Monfredo, a former teacher stated when asked at a press conference why the committee was started acknowledged, “We started this committee to encourage the children in our community to develop a love for reading by putting books into their homes. As the famous Walt Disney once said, “There is more treasure in books than in the entire pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” We as a community need to reach out to our parents and children and encourage read alouds, reading at home, reading in the park, and reading for fun.”

We all know that reading serves as the major foundational skill for all school-based learning. I have strongly recommended at the school committee level that emphasis be placed on early childhood literacy from birth to age eight. These are critical years for literacy development in linking a child’s success in learning to read. Children’s author Emilie Buchward said it best, “Parents play a vital role in this undertaking for children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” As a community let’s do all that we can to encourage and assist young families to make reading a part of their everyday life.

Drop-Off Locations

More drop off sites have been added this year as well as more groups have come forward and are conducting their own book drives for the cause.

Please donate new or gently used books, Pre-kindergarten to grade 8, at the following sites from now to May 15th.

  • People’s United People’s Bank ( (all six city branches) including the town of Shrewsbury, Marlboro and Leominster
  • Worcester Public Library
  • Commerce Bank (all four city branches) including Holden
  • Bay State Savings Bank (all branches)
  • Bank of America ( at Tatnuck Square)
  • TD Bank ( all branches)
  • Stop and Shop on Lincoln Street
  • Stop and Shop on Grafton Street
  • Stop and Shop on West Boylston Street
  • Shaws Market on West Boylston Street
  • Shaws Market at Webster Square
  • RSVP and the Senior Center on Vernon Street
  • Worcester Credit Union
  • Starbucks Coffee on one West Boylston Street
  • Panera’s on West Boylston Street
  • Austin Liquor at Gold Star Blvd
  • DCU Center and the Worcester Sharks
  • Jewish Community Center on Salisbury Street
  • Leader’s Way – Kung Fu Academy on Burncoat Street
  • Greendale YMCA
  • Main Street YMCA
  • Bagel Inn on Main Street in Holden, Ma.
  • St. Vincent’s Hospital at the entrance door on Summer Street
  • Summit Elder Care on Grafton Street
  • Worcester Public Schools School Committee Office – 20 Irving Street
  • Anne’s Book Stop located at 65 James Street

 

Book Drive Locations

In addition, as of this writing the following businesses and organizations will be having their own book drive in an attempt to assist the children of Worcester. We hope more organizations will also join in this most worthy project.

  • Scholastic Books…
  • UMass Medical
  • Worcester Public School High Schools… Burncoat High, Doherty High, North High, South High, Claremont Academy, University Park Campus and Worcester Technical High.
  • Wachusett District
  • Bancroft School
  • St. Peter-Marion
  • Holy Name High School
  • St. John’s High School
  • Notre Dame Academy
  • Worcester Academy
  • Venerini Academy
  • Colleges – WPI, Holy Cross, Clark University, Becker College, Assumption College, Worcester State University, Anna Maria College, Mass College of Pharmacy, Quinsigamond Community College, and Salter College
  • Boy Scouts
  • Hanover Insurance
  • Harvard Pilgrim
  • Little Leagues of Worcester
  • UNUM insurance
  • Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital
  • UMass Memorial
  • Wilson Language Training Center
  • You, Inc.
  • Congregation B’Nai Shahum
  • Flagg Street Parents Association
  • The following colleges and universities: WPI, Clark University, Holy Cross College, Becker College, Worcester State University, Anna Maria College, Assumption College, and Mass. College of Pharmacy, and Salter College, and Quinsigamond Community College.

 

A listing of these sites and other additional sites can be seen by visiting the following websites: http://www.worcpublib.org or www. worcesterpublicschools.org.

For more information, or if other schools or businesses are interested in helping out please call John or Anne-Marie Monfredo at 508 853-3444. Remember, everyone can help in this most worthwhile community service project and bring the joy of reading to every child. Remember, No skill is more crucial to the future of a child or to a community, than literacy.

 

Related Slideshow: Central Mass Schools with the Highest Graduation Rates

Glossary

Non-grad completers: Students that have successfully completed school according to local requirements, but whose MCAS test scores (scores lower than 220) prevent them from receiving an official diploma.

Students in cohort: Number of students eligible to graduate in 2013.

Prev Next

41. Webster

Graduation rate: 69.7%

Dropout rate: 14.8%

Percent still in school: 7.7%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 142

Prev Next

40. Southbridge

Graduation rate: 70.6%

Dropout rate: 16.8%

Percent still in school: 4.2%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 119

Prev Next

39. Fitchburg (Tie)

Graduation rate: 71.6%

Dropout rate: 14%

Percent still in school: 9.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.8%

Number of students in cohort: 450

Prev Next

38. Gardner (Tie)

Graduation rate: 71.6%

Dropout rate: 10.6%

Percent still in school: 14.9%

Percent non-grad completers: 1%

Number of students in cohort: 208

Prev Next

37. Ralph C. Mahar

Graduation rate: 72.4%

Dropout rate: 13.2%

Percent still in school: 8.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 174

Prev Next

36. Worcester

Graduation rate: 73.4%

Dropout rate: 11%

Percent still in school: 11.3%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.3%

Number of students in cohort: 1,885

Prev Next

35. Athol-Royalston

Graduation rate: 77%

Dropout rate: 12%

Percent still in school: 5%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 100

Prev Next

34. Oxford

Graduation rate: 78.5%

Dropout rate: 10.4%

Percent still in school: 7.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.4%

Number of students in cohort: 144

Prev Next

33. Quaboag

Graduation rate: 78.8%

Dropout rate: 9.6%

Percent still in school: 7.7%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 104

Prev Next

32. Northbridge

Graduation rate: 83.8%

Dropout rate: 5.6%

Percent still in school: 5%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.6%

Number of students in cohort: 179

Prev Next

31. Berlin-Boylston

Graduation rate: 84.1%

Dropout rate: 7.9%

Percent still in school: 6.3%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 63

Prev Next

30. Winchendon

Graduation rate: 84.5%

Dropout rate: 7.2%

Percent still in school: 6.2%

Percent non-grad completers: 1%

Number of students in cohort: 97

Prev Next

29. North Brookfield

Graduation rate: 84.6%

Dropout rate: 5.1%

Percent still in school: 2.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 39

Prev Next

28. Leicester

Graduation rate: 85%

Dropout rate: 5.3%

Percent still in school: 5.3%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 133

Prev Next

27. Douglas

Graduation rate: 85.1%

Dropout rate: 8.9%

Percent still in school: 3%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 101

Prev Next

26. Milford

Graduation rate: 86.5%

Dropout rate: 6.4%

Percent still in school: 5%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.4%

Number of students in cohort: 281

Prev Next

25. Spencer-East Brookfield

Graduation rate: 87%

Dropout rate: 1.9%

Percent still in school: 5.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 108

Prev Next

24. Uxbridge

Graduation rate: 87.8%

Dropout rate: 4.9%

Percent still in school: 4.1%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 123

Prev Next

23. Clinton

Graduation rate: 88.5%

Dropout rate: 2.2%

Percent still in school: 2.9%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.4%

Number of students in cohort: 139

Prev Next

22. Hudson

Graduation rate: 88.6%

Dropout rate: 5.9%

Percent still in school: 4.1%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 220

Prev Next

21. Quabbin

Graduation rate: 88.7%

Dropout rate: 3.3%

Percent still in school: 5.7%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 212

Prev Next

20. West Boylston

Graduation rate: 89.1%

Dropout rate: 3.1%

Percent still in school: 4.7%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 64

Prev Next

19. Bellingham

Graduation rate: 89.6%

Dropout rate: 4.0%

Percent still in school: 2.9%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.7%

Number of students in cohort: 173

Prev Next

18. Millbury

Graduation rate: 89.7%

Dropout rate: 4.3%

Percent still in school: 3.4%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 116

Prev Next

17. Leominster

Graduation rate: 89.9%

Dropout rate: 3.8%

Percent still in school: 3.8%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.7%

Number of students in cohort: 477

Prev Next

16. Blackstone-Millville

Graduation rate: 90.6%

Dropout rate: 5.4%

Percent still in school: 1.3%

Percent non-grad completers: 1.3%

Number of students in cohort: 149

Prev Next

15. Wachusett

Graduation rate: 91.6%

Dropout rate: 2.5%

Percent still in school: 3.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 526

Prev Next

14. Narragansett

Graduation rate: 91.9%

Dropout rate: 4.1%

Percent still in school: 2.4%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.8%

Number of students in cohort: 123

Prev Next

13. Auburn

Graduation rate: 92.3%

Dropout rate: 4.1%

Percent still in school: 2.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 196

Prev Next

12. Grafton

Graduation rate: 92.4%

Dropout rate: 1.8%

Percent still in school: 3.5%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 170

Prev Next

11. Shrewsbury

Graduation rate: 92.8%

Dropout rate: 2.3%

Percent still in school: 2.1%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 432

Prev Next

10. Tantasqua

Graduation rate: 93.1%

Dropout rate: 1.7%

Percent still in school: 3.4%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.3%

Number of students in cohort: 291

Prev Next

9. Dudley-Charlton

Graduation rate: 93.6%

Dropout rate: 3%

Percent still in school: 2.6%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 265

Prev Next

8. Ashburnham-Westminster

Graduation rate: 93.9%

Dropout rate: 2.4%

Percent still in school: 3%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 165

Prev Next

7. Lunenburg

Graduation rate: 94.5%

Dropout rate: 0.8%

Percent still in school: 2.3%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 128

Prev Next

6. Nashoba

Graduation rate: 94.7%

Dropout rate: 1.2%

Percent still in school: 2.4%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 247

Prev Next

5. Mendon-Upton

Graduation rate: 95.2%

Dropout rate: 0.5%

Percent still in school: 3.2%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 189

Prev Next

4. Hopedale

Graduation rate: 95.5%

Dropout rate: 1.1%

Percent still in school: 2.2%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 89

Prev Next

3. Westborough

Graduation rate: 96.2%

Dropout rate: 0.8%

Percent still in school: 1.9%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.8%

Number of students in cohort: 265

Prev Next

2. Northborough-Southborough

Graduation rate: 97.3%

Dropout rate: 0.3%

Percent still in school: 2.2%

Percent non-grad completers: 0.3%

Number of students in cohort: 364

Prev Next

1. Harvard

Graduation rate: 97.4%

Dropout rate: 0.9%

Percent still in school: 1.7%

Percent non-grad completers: 0%

Number of students in cohort: 117

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

You Must be Logged In to Comment

Tracker Pixel for Entry