WORCESTER – The “Worcester: The City that Reads” Committee begins their annual book drive on Wednesday, March 21 with the theme of “Spring into Books” and will run the drive until May 15.

The committee was formed 13 years ago by Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo and his wife Anne-Marie.

Monfredo, a retired school principal, wants to spread the joy of reading to children that may have difficulty obtaining books. Monfredo has already put in over a hundred hours of work preparing for the book drive, and every second is worth it to him.

“It’s all worthwhile,” Monfredo said. “I enjoy it. Being a former educator and still having the chance to make a difference.”

Even as a principal, Monfredo emphasized the long-term benefits that reading can have on children.

Monfredo said, “In my 20 years as a principal, one of the things I did was make reading a top priority. Some of those kids are grown up now and still remember those programs.”  

This year, the annual book drive has adopted the theme: Spring into Books. The great news is that many businesses, organizations, and people are coming together in the Worcester community to support this cause.

“It’s nice to have so many groups that could make a difference. We’re actually making Worcester the city that reads.” said Monfredo.

A list of places/businesses where you can drop of your books and support the cause are listed here:

  • Worcester Public Library and all of their branches
  • People’s United People’s Bank  – all six city branches, including the town of Shrewsbury
  • Commerce Bank – all four city branches, including Holden
  • Bay State Savings Bank = all branches
  • TD Bank on West Boylston Street
  •  Stop and Shop –  Lincoln Street, Grafton Street and West Boylston Street
  • Shaws Market on West Boylston Street
  • Worcester Credit Union on West Boylston Street
  • Worcester Public Schools on Irving Street
  • Worcester City Hall – first floor on Main Street
  • Starbucks Coffee at  1 West Boylston Street
  • Panera’s on West Boylston Street
  • Bagel Inn on Main Street in Holden
  • Jewish Community Center on Salisbury Street
  • Austin Liquor at Gold Star Blvd
  • Leader’s Way – Kung Fu Academy on Burncoat Street
  • Greendale YMCA
  • Main Street YMCA
  • RSVP and the Senior Center on Vernon Street
  • St. Vincent’s Hospital – at the entrance door on Summer Street 
  • Annie’s Book Stop on James Street in Worcester
  • Headshop Hair Factory in Millbury
  • Summit Elder Care on Grafton Street

A list of organizations/businesses that are offering their own book drives to support the committee’s cause are listed here:

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Worcester Railers Hockey
  • UMass Medical and UMass Memorial
  • Fallon Health on Chestnut Street 
  • Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Hanover Insurance
  • Harvard Pilgrim
  • UNUM Insurance
  • Wilson Language Training Center
  • Northboro Women’s Club
  • AFL/CIO LABOR
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  • Little leagues of Worcester
  • Webster Five Bank
  • Worcester Bravehearts Baseball
  • Worcester Public School High Schools – Burncoat High, Doherty High, North High, South High,  Claremont Academy, University Park Campus and Worcester Technical High.
  • Private Schools: Bancroft School, Holy Name High School, St. John’s High School, Notre Dame Academy, Worcester Academy and Venerini Academy
  • 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, Salter College, and Quinsigamond Community College.