Summer Book Drive for Oakland’s Children

Liz Hillen (right) who is a city of Oakland employee and Senior Services Program Assistant in the Foster Grandparent program, Andrea Turner (middle) who is the Senior Services Director and CNCS intern Michael Wang (left) posing with books and a collection bin.

President Obama’s call to service United We Serve is focusing on a summer initiative:  Let’s Read. Let’s Move. In response, the Northern California office of the federal agency the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is conducting a book drive for low-income children living in the Oakland area. The book drive runs from June 15th to the end of July. Decorated white bins will be placed in the lobbies of Oakland City Center buildings, the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, the Elihu M. Harris State Building, and city of Oakland buildings (including City Hall) where donors can deposit gently used books any time during the drive. We are asking for children’s books but please no encyclopedias, textbooks or library discards. During the summer, school-aged young people can lose 2-3 months of progress in academic achievement, particularly in reading and other literacy skills. The goal of the book drive is to get books into the hands of children who have little or no access to books and help them retain what they have learned in school during the summer. “Our goal is to collect 4,000 books. We are in our second week and we have a little less than a thousand books now. We need everyone in the Bay Area to help,” says Michael Wang an intern in at the CNCS. CNCS is encouraging everyone and anyone to participate in the book drive. Please spread the word and be sure to donate books! Every book counts! In addition to collecting donated books, CNCS is also looking for volunteers to help sort and transport the books after the book drive on Friday, August 17th. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information please visit,  www.NationalService.gov. If you are interested in participating, volunteering or have questions about the book drive, please call Michael Wang at (510) 637-1746 or email us at gbentonshoemaker@cns.gov
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