Monday Club works with the SLO Food Bank to get more books to children
–The Raising a Reader (RAR) committee of The Monday Club has launched a new program to further their mission of promoting childhood literacy and providing access to books for children. This new outreach will help provide books to more children, not just those who participate in the RAR program through their schools.
The plan is to collect “gently loved” children’s and young adult’s books (ages 0 – 18) from Monday Club members and from the community and deliver them to the SLO Food Bank to be distributed via a program called “Breakfast Bags.” These are drawstring backpacks given to youth under 18, which are filled with 3 weeks’ worth of shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare breakfast items and other resource material. The Food Bank works to distribute 9,900 of these bags per year to 40 sites. The Food Bank staff will put the donated books into the Breakfast Bags, ultimately getting them into the hearts and homes of children without access to books in their homes, and helping to foster a life-long love of reading. The goal is to be able to provide books at least once to all 40 sites.
The Monday Club logo will be featured on labels added inside each book cover, thanks to Shannon Pimentel, coordinator of Raising a Reader for San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, and will include printed bilingual “Reading Tips” for families. Tara Davis, nutrition and children’s program manager at the SLO Food Bank, has offered a pallet at their warehouse to store the books and will oversee the distribution of the books. The committee’s plan is to eventually expand its outreach to other non-profits and members of the community.
The first collection day will be May 10, from 4 – 6 p.m. Donations can be dropped off to a large red wagon (donated by Shannon) at the side entrance of the club, ensuring social distancing and COVID compliance. They are asking that used books are gently loved not written in torn missing pages, stained, etc. They are seeking books that are non-religious and are something that a diverse group of people would want to read to their children. They are collecting board books for infants and toddlers, as well as paperback books for readers of all ages, including books in Spanish and other languages. New books are also welcome.
Future book drop-off dates: 2nd & 4th Mondays in May, June, and July, 4-6 p.m.
For more information about the Raising a Reader Program and Monday Club member volunteers, visit https://www.themondayclubslo.org/RAR.