11th Annual Book Drive
The kick off for the eleventh annual book drive by Worcester: the City that Reads Committee to collect books (Prek to grade 8) for summer reading begins on March 21st with its theme of "Spring into Books" and will continue until May 15th. The Committee was founded by John and Anne-Marie Monfredo twelve years ago in an attempt to promote literacy in the community, put books into the hands of children who lack books in their homes, and to promote the importance of being a life time reader. In ten years the group has given out over 320,000 books to the children in this community!
According to John Monfredo, "Last year was outstanding for we collected over 35,000 children’s books." Traditionally, the books have been distributed to low-income students, social agencies, and groups with summer school programs. In addition, books have also been given to schools and groups during the year for special projects such as a start up library at a school, AVID programs, innovation school projects, SPED, two-way bilingual schools, and all HEAD START schools.
Books last year were also given to Plumbley Village, Rainbow Child Development, the African Education Institute, Worcester Housing, the Y.W.C.A., Y.M.C.A., all private and public pre-school programs, Head Start, Books for Babies program, as well as to church groups with summer reading programs, United Way programs and to many other social agencies. After May 15th the books will be distributed to the schools during "Reading In Our City Week" initiated by "Worcester: the City that Reads" during the week of June 12th.
John Monfredo stated that the drive is off to a great start for the Houghton Mufflin Harcourt publishing company donated over 4500 new books to the drive. In an attempt to spread the importance of literacy in our community, John Monfredo affirmed, "This year we also would like the schools and the Worcester Public Library to conduct a book swap when they return from their summer break as a way of continuing the importance of reading throughout the year. We want to keep the books circulating."
"According to the research on literacy, studies clearly indicate that children in homes that have books are more likely to succeed in school, while children who don’t have adequate reading skills are much more likely to drop out of school. One study found that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success – regardless of family background," stated John Monfredo.
Anne-Marie Monfredo, a former teacher stated, "We started this committee to encourage the children in our community to develop a love for reading and to put books into the hands of those who have so few. As the former secretary of education Richard Riley stated years ago, "If every child were read to daily, from infancy, it would revolutionize education in this country."
"We all know that reading serves as the major foundational skill for all school based learning." John Monfredo a former principal, acknowledged, "I strongly recommend the emphasis be placed on early childhood literacy from birth to age eight. These are critical years for literacy development in linking a child’s success in learning to read." Children’s author Emilie Buchward said it best, "Parents play a vital role in this undertaking for children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
More drop off sites have been added this year as well as more groups have come forward and are conducting their own book drives for the cause.
Please donate a new or gently used books, Pre-kindergarten to grade 8, at the following sites from now to May 15th:
- People’s United People’s Bank ( (all five city branches in Worcester)
- Worcester Public Library
- Commerce Bank (all four city branches) including Holden
- Bay State Savings Bank (all branches)
- Bank of America ( at Tatnuck Square)
- TD Bank located on West Boylston Street
- Stop and Shop on Lincoln Street
- Stop and Shop on Grafton Street
- Stop and Shop on West Boylston Street
- Shaws Market on West Boylston Street
- RSVP and the Senior Center on Vernon Street
- Worcester Credit Union – on West Boylston Street
- Starbucks Coffee on one West Boylston Street
- Panera’s on West Boylston Street
- Austin Liquor at Gold Star Blvd
- Jewish Community Center on Salisbury Street
- Leader’s Way – Kung Fu Academy on Burncoat Street
- Greendale YMCA
- Main Street YMCA
- Bagel Inn on Main Street in Holden, Ma.
- St. Vincent’s Hospital at the entrance door on Summer Street
- Summit Elder Care on Grafton Street
- Worcester Public Schools School Committee Office – 20 Irving Street
- Worcester City Hall at the City Manager’s Office
- Anne’s Books Shop on James Street in Worcester
- Congressman James McGovern’s office - 12 East Worcester Street
- EcoTarium in Worcester
- UMass Memorial Hospital – Belmont Street
- UMass Medical – Plantation Street
In addition, the following businesses and organizations will be having their own book drive in an attempt to assist the children of Worcester. "We hope more organizations will also join in by calling me at 508 853-3444", stated John Monfredo.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
- UBS Financial Services
- Worcester Public School High Schools... Burncoat High, Doherty High, North High, South High, Claremont Academy, University Park Campus and Worcester Technical High.
- Wachusett High School
- Bancroft School
- St. Peter-Marion
- Holy Name High School
- St. John’s High School
- Notre Dame Academy
- Worcester Academy
- Venerini Academy
- Boy Scouts
- Girl Scouts
- Hanover Insurance
- Harvard Pilgrim
- Little leagues of Worcester
- UNUM insurance
- Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital
- Wilson Language Training Center
- You, Inc.
- The following colleges and universities: WPI, Holy Cross College, Becker College, Worcester State University, Anna Maria College, Assumption College, and Mass. College of Pharmacy, and Salter College, and Quinsigamond Community College.
- AFL/CIO Labor
- Salvation Army in Worcester
- Northboro Junior Women’s Club
- Beth Tikvah and Bnai Shalom in Westborough.
A LISTING OF THESE SITES AND OTHER ADDITIONAL SITES CAN ALSO BE ACCESSED BY GOING TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: www.mywpl.org
For more information, or if other schools or businesses are interested in helping out please call John or Anne-Marie Monfredo at 508 853-3444. Remember, everyone can help in this most worthwhile community service project and bring the joy of reading to every child. As the Monfredo’s stated, "No skill is more crucial to the future of a child or to a community, than literacy."