WORCESTER - Worcester: the City that Reads Committee is celebrating its 14th Annual Book Drive this Spring and is setting its sights on collecting 50,000 books over the next few months.
The book drive -- with its theme of "Spring into Books" -- will run from the final week of March until May 20. Over the past 13 years, the committee has collected over 650,000 books and hopes to reach the 700,000 pinnacle this Spring. Last year, the drive brought in more than 35,000 children's books.
According to Committee co-founder and Worcester school committee member John Monfredo, this year's drive has already been promised 4,500 new books from the Houghton Mufflin Harcourt publishing company.
This year's books -- once collected and sorted -- will be distributed to the schools during “Reading In Our City Week" initiated by the Committee during the week of June 10.
The Committee was founded by John and Anne-Marie Monfredo fourteen years ago in an attempt to promote literacy in the community, put books into the hands of children who lack books in their homes, and to promote the importance of being a life time reader.
“According to the research on literacy, 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 skills are much more likely to drop out of school. One study found that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success – regardless of family background,” John Monfredo said.
Anne-Marie Monfredo, a former teacher said, “We started this committee to encourage the children in our community to develop a love for reading and to put books into the hands of those who have so few. As the former secretary of education Richard Riley stated years ago, 'If every child were read to daily, from infancy, it would revolutionize education in this country.'"
Traditionally, the books have been 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 school year for special projects such as a start up library at a school, AVID programs, innovation school projects, SPED, two-way bilingual schools, and all HEAD START and pre-school schools.
Books last year were also given to Plumley Village, Rainbow Child Development, the African Education Institute, Worcester Housing, the Y.W.C.A., Y.M.C.A., all private and public pre-school programs, Head Start, Books for Babies program, as well as to church groups with summer reading programs, United Way programs and to many other social agencies.
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 a new or gently used books, Pre-kindergarten to grade 8, at the following sites from now to May 15,
In addition, the following businesses and organizations will be having their own book drive in an attempt to assist the children of Worcester.
A LISTING OF THESE SITES AND OTHER ADDITIONAL SITES CAN BE ACCESSED BY GOING TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: www.worcesterpublicschools.org
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