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Sonoma County Gazette
United Way Childrens Book Drive - Kenny Hamann
United Way Childrens Book Drive - Kenny Hamann

United Way collects 7500 Books for Kids

May 5, 2017


Throughout the month of March, community members and local businesses rallied in support of education and childhood literacy by donating over 7,500 books through the Children's Book Drive presented byUnited Way Women’s Leadership Council (WLC)! Books collected during the drive will be distributed to kids for free through United Way’s education initiatives and the Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County. 

Since its inception in 2011, the United Way Children’s Book Drive has collected more than 41,000 books for local kids! Thanks to our growing community partners, we currently have over 40 drop off locations throughout Sonoma County enabling us to collect even more books for kids each year.

Why are these books so important? For starters, less than half (43%) of third-graders are currently reading proficiently in Sonoma County. With summer quickly approaching, kids are in need of books in order to maintain the reading skills they have gained throughout the school year.

“The summer reading slide is a well-established phenomenon, particularly for students who are economically deprived,” said Jennifer O’Donnell, former teacher and current United Way VP of Community Benefit. “Students reading skills frequently decline over the summer when they have no access to school or books.”

United Way is committed to supporting early childhood education in our community. In addition to the book drive, United Way’s School Readiness Backpacks and its Schools of Hope program help ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn and are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

New this year, United Way’s WLC along with the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) are sponsoring 900 Summer Reading Packs for kids. These packs will be filled with six age appropriate books and distributed to kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade in the Wright School District. Research shows children who read as few as six books over the summer break can maintain their reading skills at a level achieved in the preceding school year.

Education is the cornerstone for community success. All kids in our community need access to books in order to learn and be successful throughout school and life.

For more information about the United Way Children’s Book Drive or our other education initiatives,

About United Way of the Wine Country
United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) works to advance the common good along the North Coast of California in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. UWWC mobilizes the caring power of communities to focus on the building blocks of a good life - education, income and health. We do this by addressing underlying issues, improving lives, and building a healthy vibrant community. for more information.


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