PRESS RELEASE - WORCESTER: THE CITY THAT READS… 17th ANNUAL BOOK DRIVE … GOAL TO COLLECT ONE MILLION BOOKS …
The kick off for the 17TH annual book drive by Worcester: the City that Reads Committee to collect books (PreK to grade 8) for summer reading kicks off during the last week in March with its theme of “ Spring into Books” and will continue until the first of June . The Committee was founded by John and Anne-Marie Monfredo seventeen 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 lifetime reader. In seventeen years, the group has given out over 980,000 books to the children in this community!
According to John Monfredo, a former principal in Worcester and Worcester School Committee member stated, “The last two years due to the pandemic we did not have any formal book drive but with the slowing up of the pandemic it’s time to start up again. There are more students that have come into our city from other countries during the past two years and still many other children lack the necessary resources at home. Let’s try to hit that one million mark in collecting books for the children.”
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, Spanish books for the dual language programs, AVID programs, innovation school projects, SPED, two-way bilingual schools, and all HEAD START and pre-school school programs.
Books in the past have also been given to Plumbley 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. This year books once collected and sorted will be distributed to the schools and other agencies prior to summer vacation.
“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,” stated John Monfredo.
Anne-Marie Monfredo, a former teacher acknowledged, “We started this book drive 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.”
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.”
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. The drive starts at the end of March and will go until June 1st. Groups involved in the drive as a site or having their own drive are as follows:
- AllCom Credit Union
- Anna Maria College
- Austin Liquor on Gold Star Bld.
- Bancroft School
- Bay State Bank – six sites in Worcester
- Boy Scouts of America
- Boys-Girls Club
- Clark Univ.
- Fairlawn Hospital
- Fallon Health
- Hanover Insurance
- Hertz Group Management
- Holy Cross
- Jewish Community Center
- Krav Mage School (Force Defense/Fitness)
- Masis Staffing – 1331 Grafton Street
- Mechanics Hall
- Northboro Junior Women’s Club
- Notre Dame Academy
- Quinsigamond Community College
- Shaws Market on West Boylston Street
- Southborough Public Library
- St. Vincent’s Hospital
- Starbucks Coffee
- Stop and Shop Market on West Boylston Street
- TD Bank on West Boylston Street
- Tide Pool Bookstore
- UMass Medical
- UMass Memorial
- United People’s Bank – all three branches in Worcester
- Wachusett Recycling Center
- Wilson Training Language Center
- Worcester Academy
- Worcester Bravehearts
- Worcester Credit Union
- Worcester Public Library – Main and Greendale branch
- Worcester Public School Secondary Schools
- Worcester Public Schools – Superintendent’s Office
- Worcester Railers
- Worcester State Univ.
- Worcester Woo Sox
- YMCA -both branches in Worcester
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 or emailing… [email protected] 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.”