Soon, books will be piling up for area children as Community Education, the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club and Walden Books have teamed up to conduct a Fall Book Drive.
The groups are working together to collect new books for children up to 5 years old. The book drive started Aug. 1 and will continue through Sept. 1.
“You would be surprised how many kids out there don’t own or have never owned a book,” said Anne Grubbs, enrichment and volunteer coordinator for Community Education.
The books will benefit Community Action’s and Western Kentucky University’s Head Start programs, Newborns in Need and the International Center, Grubbs said.
Collected books from past drives have gone to the foster child program, schools’ family resource centers, Girls Inc., The Salvation Army, Hospice of Southern Kentucky – which has a children’s room in the new facility – and Barren River Area Safe Space.
“We choose different groups each year to send books to,” she said. “We want to make sure we have enough to spread around.”
Grubbs said they chose to help Newborns in Need by putting a new book in each bag the organization gives to parents.
“There’s always a book in them,” she said. “They’ve been purchasing books to put in the bags, but this time we’re helping stuff those bags with donated books so they don’t have to purchase them.”
The International Center always has new families moving in who speak a different language, Grubbs said. She said they thought it would be a good way for parents and children to learn the language together by reading to one another.
People participating can buy a new book from Walden Books at Greenwood Mall and leave it there or they can drop off a new book at the Community Education office at 1700 Patrick Way.
“We believe birth to 5 is a big reading opportunity,” said Angie Dargo-Sczepkowski, assistant manager at Walden Books. “We believe if they start then, children will be readers for the rest of their lives … it’s good for the child. We can start a love for reading early if we can get books in these children’s hands.”
The annual book drive has been done for many years, Grubbs said.
“Kiwanis and Community Ed share a common interest of children and youth,” she said.
Community Education has been doing a book drive for the past six years. About four years ago, it joined forces with the Kiwanis Club, which was looking to do something similar.
Walden Books also joined the effort and collects the books, while Community Education volunteers will distribute them.
Grubbs said they’ve done drives asking for gently used books, but this time they are asking for new books. She said last year’s drive garnered 700 books.
“Reading is a bonding moment for parent and child, and children learn to read by being read to,” Grubbs said. “Plus, how many of us have that one favorite book we’ve read over and over. Reading is a tool, and we are encouraging literacy.”
— For more information, call 842-4281.
Jordan, Natalie (2009, August). Groups collecting books for fall drive. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/groups-collecting-books-for-fall-drive/article_48bc2229-4cf2-5436-8c4a-366667fb9c6e.html