In what’s become one of the state’s largest efforts in support of childhood literacy, United Way of Rhode Island and its Women United group have kicked off their annual children’s book drive. Throughout the month of May, local businesses, community organizations, families and individuals are invited to participate in any one of a number of ways.
Over the past eight years, the drive has helped to put 216,675 free books in the hands of local children through its partnership with Books Are Wings.
“We’re particularly excited about this year’s drive – this is an initiative that our community really comes out for and gets behind,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “Reading, and a love for stories, is something we all can relate to. Unfortunately, too many children lack access to the age-appropriate books critical to developing proficient literacy skills.”
A year after the pandemic led to a scaled back collection, the drive now offers a variety of options for the community to participate in whatever way they feel is most safe.
Businesses, community groups, and families may host collections, inviting colleagues, friends and neighbors to drop-off books to a designated bin or location. Companies with remote employees may coordinate a drive-through effort, offering a contactless outdoor collection with United Way and Books Are Wings available to staff the event. And, there’s a virtual option in which books can be purchased from an online Wish List of titles curated by Books Are Wings and shipped directly to the organization.
For questions about the book drive, or to request a book pick-up, please contact Lori DiMatteo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (401) 444-0714.