Safeway’s Books for Oakland’s Literacy Zone

Mayor Jean Quan (center) with officials from Reading Partners, Reading Tree and Safeway. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Twenty-five hundred books were donated to four Oakland schools earlier this month – just in time for students to participate in summer reading. The donated books came via Reading Partners, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland that establishes reading and tutoring programs in local schools. Reading Partners is able to donate the books due to the collection efforts currently underway at 80 Safeway stores.  Book collection bins have been placed in store parking lots enabling customers and the general public the opportunity to donated unwanted books. To date, more than 35,000 books have been collected and sorted by a nonprofit called Reading Tree.  Useable books are then offered to Reading Partners and other local nonprofit organizations. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, City Council President Larry Reid, as well as officials from Reading Partners, Reading Tree and Safeway announced the program earlier this month at a press conference at Brookfield Elementary School in Oakland.  Officials chose the school as the first book recipient in part because of Oakland’s identified “literacy zone” which aims to boost reading proficiency among all students in the region. Officials said the program is a shot in the arm at a time of education budget cuts nationwide.  “This partnership is exactly the kind of collaboration our schools need, in Oakland and across the state,” said Adam Taylor, principal of Brookfield Elementary. Mayor Quan said reading and education can be a powerful agent of change in Oakland. Quan said, “When the community wraps its arms around our students like this, we share the joy and inspire Oakland’s youth to expand their horizons through reading and education.”
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