The United Way of Champaign County is holding a Children’s Book Drive on Friday, June 26 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The organization will immediately redistribute books to children in the area who might not have access to them over the summer.
The community is invited to drive up and drop off gently used children’s books at the United Way office, 404 W. Church St., in Champaign (north of West Side Park). The United Way will be accepting board books, picture books, early readers/chapter books, and young adult books.
The local book drive is part of a national event known as the Day of Action, which is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a variety of challenges.
For this year’s event, United Way of Champaign County decided to focus on preventing summer learning loss, or the “summer slide” — a cumulative loss of academic skills over the summer months that disproportionately affects low-income students.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, kids can lose one to three months of academic growth over the summer.
“Study after study has shown that kids who are given the opportunity to read over the summer months do better in school come fall,” said Sue Grey, president & CEO of the United Way of Champaign County.
Grey said the most exciting part of the book drive is the books will be finding a second home that day.
“The books will be going out our door the very same day. United Way’s nonprofit partners already do such a great job of connecting with kids in the community, so we want them to distribute the books and use them to support their programming,” Grey said.
United Way hopes the whole community will participate in any way possible. Whether that’s by hosting book drives in their offices, neighborhoods, and book clubs, going through your family’s bookshelf, or volunteering for the event, there’s a chance for everyone to be involved.
United Way has an online toolkit available at www.uwayhelps.org/DayOfAction for anyone who wishes to host a book drive.