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Book Donations Down this Year

from the San Jose Mercury News

Fisher: Book donations way down this year

Blame the economy. Or technology. Maybe the problem is that books, the kind made from trees, are losing their appeal in the age of electronic readers and video games.

Whatever the reason, the Gift of Reading program is in trouble this year. And that’s bad news for all of us.

We know it’s important that children learn to love reading, so they can excel in school and in the workplace. We know that a kid who knows the joy of curling up on a grown-up’s lap and listening to “Goodnight Moon” is more likely to get hooked on Harry Potter and a lifetime of heroes and villains. Lots of parents start reading to their children even before they can sit up. But all too many kids don’t have books at home, and all too many classrooms don’t have enough to go around. That’s why, for 22 years, the Mercury News has sponsored the Gift of Reading, an annual drive that promotes literacy by putting new or gently used books in the hands of disadvantaged children. Thousands of kids have owned their first book thanks to the generosity of this community. Donations of books to schools inspired teachers to build libraries without digging into their own pockets.

A dip in donations

Last year, the program donated 70,000 books to elementary and preschools and nonprofits in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. That’s a lot of kids hooked on reading. But so far this year, only 16,500 books have been collected….

[ click to continue reading at the SJ Mercury News ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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