Monfredo: Worcester -The City That Reads Book Drive, Make A Difference & Donate
Saturday, April 30, 2016
As I have stated before, research continues to emphasize that a major reason for the rich/poor reading achievement gap stems from the limited access to books in low income communities and in schools serving these communities. What we know is that approximately 80% of the reading achievement gap between children from low and middle income families stems from summer reading loss. It should surprise no one that any proficiency that goes unpracticed for three months deteriorates. Hence, we have the achievement gap or as many call it the “summer slide.”
It is for this very reason that my wife, Anne-Marie, and I, twelve years ago started Worcester: the City that Reads in an attempt to stop summer loss and promote literacy in the community. Our goal is to put books into the hands of children who lack books in their homes and to promote the importance of being a life time reader.
We all need to remember that reading isn’t a luxury… It’s a necessity. Reading ability doesn’t just translate to success in academics. It can also be the crucial factor that determines whether a child will succeed in the job market. As a nation we should be embarrassed about illiteracy and we should all be working to do something about it. We have to make literacy a priority in this community. Giving children the necessary tools to build strong literacy skills also gives them the tools to succeed in life.
We have continued to try and make everyone aware of the importance of literacy by putting books into the hands of children. The more books children read, the faster their vocabulary is expanded. Books help them to learn new words and new ways of using the words that they already know. As children’s author Tomie dePaola stated,” Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.” Remember, we as adults must show our children the way into the wonderful world of books. It’s our job to expose them to literary in the home and in the community.
Thus, far we have received great support from the public on this year’s drive. A special thank you goes out to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Salvation Army, Webster Saving Bank, Fairlawn Hospital, UMass Medical and WPI for their early book donations.
This year more drop off sites have been added 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 16th.
• People’s United People’s Bank ( (all five city branches in Worcester)
• Worcester Public Library
• Commerce Bank (all four city branches) including Holden
• Bay State Savings Bank (all branches)
• TD Bank located on West Boylston Street
• Webster Five Cents Saving Bank
• 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
• RSVP and the Senior Center on Vernon Street
• Worcester Credit Union – on West Boylston Street
• Starbucks Coffee on one West Boylston Street
• Panera’s on West Boylston Street
• Austin Liquor at Gold Star Blvd
• 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
• Worcester City Hall at the City Manager’s Office
• Anne’s Books Shop on James Street in Worcester
• Congressman James McGovern’s office - 12 East Worcester Street
• Eco Tarium in Worcester
• UMass Memorial Hospital – Belmont Street
• UMass Medical – Plantation Street
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 by calling me at 508 853-3444.
• Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
• UBS Financial Services
• Worcester Public School High Schools… Burncoat High, Doherty High, North High, South High, Claremont Academy, University Park Campus and Worcester Technical High.
• Wachusett High School
• Bancroft School
• Holy Name High School
• St. John’s High School
• Notre Dame Academy
• Worcester Academy
• Venerini Academy
• Boy Scouts
• Girl Scouts
• Hanover Insurance
• Harvard Pilgrim
• Little leagues of Worcester
• UNUM insurance
• Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital
• Wilson Language Training Center
• You, Inc.
• The following colleges and universities: WPI, 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.
• AFL/CIO Labor
• Salvation Army in Worcester
• Northboro Junior Women’s Club
• Beth Tikvah
A LISTING OF THESE SITES AND OTHER ADDITIONAL SITES CAN BE ACCESSED BY GOING TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: http://www.mywpl.org OR www.worcesterschools.org or http://www.worcesterma.gov/announcements/worcester-the-city-that-reads-11th-annual-book-drive-kicks-off-with-goal-of-collecting-35-000-books
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. As the Monfredo’s stated, “ No skill is more crucial to the future of a child or to a community, than literacy.”
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