A friend of mine posted a link about the Page It Forward book drive on Facebook earlier in the week and it depressed and astounded me. I've posted a link to the article below but the part of the article that stuck with me was......
40% of 6 year olds in Waukegan Illinois had never had contact with a book.
Now I'm not really sure what they mean with contact with a book, but I'm assuming it means they have never had someone sit them down and read them a story or paged through a book themselves. I have 3 kids, age 7, 5 and 2. We've been reading to them from the day they came home from the hospital. True in the beginning they didn't pay attention, but by about 6 months they did, and at that point we had already established the bedtime ritual. My kids are all avid readers now. My 7 year old goes through chapter books quickly - thank goodness for our wellstocked library. My 5 year old is starting to read independently, but is happy to reread books over and over til she gets all the words right. Our two year isn't reading yet, but still loves to look at books, and does have some of the words of his favorites memorized. He loves when we get up early and have time to come into my bed and snuggle and read stories.
They probably each have over 100 books on their bookshelves and we go the library a couple of times a month. I realize that books are expensive and board books seem especially expensive for the few pages you get. But I can't tell you how many board books we have that are have been taped and retaped with packing tape because they were so loved. "Hug" and "the Lion King" are two that come to mind. With the economy being what it is, I'm sure a lot of communities have had to cut expenses and libraries were affected. Parents are working hard to put food on the table and may not have time to take their kids to the library. I get all that. But reading to children and giving them books to read on their own will help foster a lifetime love of learning. That's why I really want this program to succeed.
Page it Forward is trying to collect 100,000 books to distribute among children in the affected areas. As of the current count on their Facebook site they have over 87,000 more to go to make their goal. It's really easy to help. There are three ways to help....
The easiest - and it's free!!!
Facebook - 1 book
You can donate 1 book with a simple click of a button. For everyone who “likes” the Page it Forward Page on Facebook sponsors will donate 1 book to a child in need.
A tiny bit more work, and will cost you $10
Text - 4 books
You can donate 4 books while you wait in line for your morning coffee. Text “PAGE” to 85944 and reply YES to confirm your $10 donation. (A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for United Way of Lake County by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 85944 to stop. Reply HELP to 85944 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.)
And of course you can donate books. I went through my kids book shelves and we found a few they were willing to part with. Our local library had a book fair on Friday and we picked up a few there as well.
If you need a additional incentive you have a chance at winning a $50 Visa card when you visit certain drop off locations!
*Independence Grove, Libertyville, Tuesday Night Concert Series (Thursday rain date)
Tuesday, July 12
-Book collection (pre-concert) 12- 5 PM
-Book collection (country band) 5-10 PM
Wednesday, July 20: Norman Woods Business Park
United Conveyor, Waukegan, 7:30 AM-5:30 PM
*Sunday, August 14: Gurnee Days, Gurnee, 11AM-5 PM
-Book collection booth (11 AM-5 PM)
Wednesday, August 24: Lincolnshire Corporate Center
EH Wachs, Lincolnshire, 7:30 AM-5:30 PM
*Sunday, September 11: Farmers Market, Buffalo Grove, 8 AM-12:30 PM
*donate books at these locations and enter our raffle to win a $50 Visa gift card