United Way Collects 13,000+ Books for Local Kids
Monday, August 27, 2012
The Women’s Leadership Council, an initiative of United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI), is dedicated to closing the gaps in early childhood literacy; they recently completed a book drive in partnership with Books Are Wings, local individuals and organizations across the Ocean State. More than 13,000 books were collected, easily surpassing the drive’s goal of 3,000.
“The response to our book drive speaks volumes about the community’s commitment to helping Rhode Island children succeed in school and in life,” said Gertrude F. Jones, vice president, Community Relations, Lifespan Corporate Services, and chair, United Way of Rhode Island’s Women’s Leadership Council. “It’s unacceptable that two-thirds of low-income families in our country do not have books in their homes. The success of this book drive will help thousands of children today and into the future.”
Through partnering with Books Are Wings, a local nonprofit that puts free books in the hands of children in need, and community partners, the Women’s Leadership Council book drive ran from May 1 through July 31.
4,000 books from Washington Trust drive
Nearly one-third of this summer's yield came via Washington Trust, whose summer book drive netted more than 4,000 children’s books. Washington Trust collected books through the bank’s 18 Rhode Island branch offices, as well as at its Operations Center and Corporate Headquarters. “Washington Trust was pleased to partner with and support the United Way in their efforts to improve children’s literacy in Rhode Island,” said Joseph J. MarcAurele, Washington Trust Chairman, President and CEO. “We thank our employees, customers, friends and neighbors, who generously donated 4,000 books, almost one-third of the total collected, to this state-wide literacy initiative.”
“We need to do everything we can as a community to support literacy programs and foster a love of reading among our young students,” said Anthony Maione, president & CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “Working together, we can ensure every child in Rhode Island is able to read to learn, and we’re grateful to partners like The Washington Trust Company for their generous support of our efforts to help children succeed in school and in life.”
Books into the community
All of the books collected were distributed to the 11 sites of Back to School Celebration. The annual event, which provides children in-need with a backpack full of school supplies for the coming academic year, helps 16,000 local youth across the state. This year, children also had an opportunity to select a book of their choice to begin building their at-home library. Books were also distributed through local community organizations in Westerly.
“When a child grows up loving to read, it becomes second nature and plays an important role in their classroom success and in building confidence,” said Jocelynn White, Director of Books Are Wings. “With many families struggling to make ends meet, it is difficult to provide children with all the books they need to succeed. We’re proud of our efforts to ensure that all children, and their families, have an opportunity to read together.”
For more Lifestyle coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.
- United Way Tax Program Saves Working RIers $12.8 Million
- NEW: United Way and NBC10 Seek Nominations for Jefferson Awards
- Meryl Streep Makes Second Major Donation to Central Falls School