Submitted by Bernie’s Book Bank:
Bernie’s Book Bank distributed its one-millionth book at Whittier Elementary School in Waukegan on Tues., Nov. 13, when 700 students each received a bag of six books. Whittier student Israel Trujillo-Vargas received the one-millionth book from former Board President Tom Clark. student Michelle Mejia-Galvez received book No. 1,000,001, commemorating the next million books to be distributed.
Chicago Bears player Blake Costanzo was also on hand to help celebrate and sign autographs. Plus, Bernie’s resident storyteller, Tom Clark, treated students to a special story.
“Reading is the single most important skill a child needs to learn,” said Bernie’s Book Bank Founder Brian Floriani, “but more than 60 percent of at-risk children have no age-appropriate books in their homes. By pouring books into their homes, we can provide them with the basic tools that every child needs to succeed … books.”
At the event, Floriani announced the book bank’s new goal: distributing one-million books per year beginning in 2013.
Since its founding in Dec. 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank has collected, processed and distributed quality books to at-risk children in the Chicagoland area. Today, the organization serves more than 55,000 children annually in communities from Zion the south side of Chicago.
Bernie’s Book Bank collects quality new and gently used books through schools, businesses, publishers, distributors and its growing Book Drop Network; processes books into age-appropriate, distribution-ready collections; and creates distribution partnerships with schools and other organizations that serve large populations of at-risk children. Schools in which 50% or more of the children qualify for the free and reduced lunch program are eligible. Each child served receives at least two bags of books per year from Bernie’s Book Bank until they complete 6th grade. The books are free and theirs to keep forever.
For more information about Bernie’s Book Bank, visit www.berniesbookbank.org.