Statewide book drive helps low-income kids

Thousands of children’s books are expected to be donated this week across Idaho. United Way of the Treasure Valley is hosting a first-ever, statewide children’s book drive to help low-income kids and reduce summer learning loss. Hundreds of Treasure Valley organizations are rallying June 15-19 and taking action, giving books to local children who need them.

“Every single person in Idaho can impact literacy and that is our message,” said Nora Carpenter, president of United Way of Treasure Valley. “This is what Idaho does best and that is when people say they can help.”

According to the State Department of Education, 81 percent of low-income kindergarteners were reading at grade level in the spring of 2013. When they returned in the fall, only 56 percent were reading at grade level.

When the book drive ends, United Way will be distributing the books across the state in partnership with the Idaho Food Bank, Head Start child care providers, preschools and school systems.

“We’re already had pre-orders for tens of thousands of books through our partners and we are sure we’ll be able to provide books for all those kids,” said Carpenter.

To join the donation drive, drop books off at any U.S. Bank branch, at Kendall Ford in Meridian or at West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell. For a list of dozens of other drop-off locations, click here.

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