More than 96,000 books were donated during United Way of Treasure Valley’s third annual Children’s Book Drive in April.
More than 500 volunteers helped clean and sort the donated books at a large warehouse on Fairview Avenue in Boise, donated by The Sundance Company.
The books were categorized by grade level and distributed to nearly 100 local organizations that serve children -- including schools, daycare centers, libraries, after-school programs and health clinics.
“Getting books into the hands of children is critical to their early development, with state education data showing that only about fifty percent of children entering kindergarten are ready to read,” said Nora Carpenter, CEO and president of United Way of Treasure Valley. “Our goal with the Children’s Book Drive is to change those odds by helping get more books into the hands of children.”
Volunteers represented numerous civic groups, businesses, schools, and faith-based groups. Members of the Boise High football team and Meridian Medical Arts Charter School key club, among others, also volunteered to clean and sort books.
“People and organizations from every corner of the Valley and beyond came together to help make the Children’s Book Drive a success this year,” Carpenter said. “Right now is the perfect time to get books into the hands of kids so they have reading materials during the summer months, which can help prevent summer learning loss.”
Dozens of local organizations, including Albertsons and U.S. Bank locations, helped collect books with their employees and customers, and donated them to the Children’s Book Drive
Books of all reading levels were donated, and United Way worked closely with Book It Forward Idaho to help get books into the hands of children in need, Carpenter stated.
“This year, a local physician at a health clinic that received donated books told us how much she enjoys getting to tell children that they get to take a book to keep from the clinic,” she said. “Stories like that remind us that one book can really change a child’s life.”
Last year, United Way of Treasure Valley collected 72,000 books during the Children’s Book Drive.
Local sponsors of this year’s Children’s Book Drive included Albertsons, U.S. Bank, The River 94.9, 107.1 K-Hits, KIVI-TV (6 On Your Side), Book It Forward Idaho, Easter Seals Goodwill, the Idaho Statesman, West Valley Medical Center and The Sundance Company.