Monfredo: How to Help Worcester Reach Goal of 30,000 Donated Books
Saturday, March 22, 2014
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.
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
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.
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