Book Drive Makes a Stop at Tri-C

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By Abby Bickel

We all have them. They sit in the dusty corners of our houses, taking up precious space. Or they pile up in the basement because who could bare to get rid the memories loaded into the pages of your favorite childhood picture book? Stop being a sentimentalist. You are never going to revisit that novel you slugged through for your first-year English requirement.

Your books can find a happier home than the brown boxes they are currently loaded into, and you can do Marie Kondo a solid and tidy up your clutter. As something that is often taken for granted, reading is seen as a chore to many who are forced to crank out book after book in English classes throughout their education.

The love of reading slackens. But what is also taken for granted is the ability to read. 66 percent of Cleveland’s population ages 16 and up is functionally illiterate. This means they are reading at no higher than a third-grade level of comprehension. The impact of this is severely felt among Cleveland’s youths since the most important factor in determining a child’s academic success is their parents’ reading skills.

The ability to read independently by the end of third grade is crucial to the rest of a child’s education. If a child is not reading at this level, the rest of their school career becomes an uphill battle, and they are more likely to drop out of high school. Looking at the Cleveland Municipal School District, in the 2016-2017 school year, only 35.6 percent of third graders passed state English and Language Arts tests and only 72.1 percent of students graduated in four years.

By taking book donations from the Tri-C community, they will be put towards children in the inner city of Cleveland with a plentiful supply of books to promote child literacy. Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, a nonprofit organization has a corresponding goal that distributes books throughout the Geater Cleveland area. All your donated books will go to the Book Bank for sorting and distribution.

From there, your early baby books will enter the hands of new mothers; your early childhood books will reach home daycare providers; and your young adult books will fall to schools, tutors, churches, libraries and recreation centers. You can rest assured that someone will be giving your books more love than they are getting now.

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