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United Way to host third Children’s Book Drive

United Way to host third Children’s Book Drive

More than 70,000 books collected last year.

BOISE, Idaho —United Way of Treasure Valley will host its third annual Children’s Book Drive, seeking to collect thousands of new and gently used books and distribute them to children throughout the valley. 

The United Way Children’s Book Drive will run April 10-14, following a kick-off event on Saturday, April 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Boise. 

The Barnes & Noble event will include fun activities for children and families, including face painting and story time with therapy dogs. 

In 2016, United Way of Treasure Valley collected more than 70,000 new and used books during the Children’s Book Drive. With the help of nearly 500 volunteers, United Way and nonprofit partner Book It Forward Idaho cleaned, sorted and distributed the books to schools, early learning centers, after-school programs and many more. 

Companies and organizations across the Treasure Valley partnered with United Way to host book drives for their employees and customers. Companies interested in partnering with United Way for this year’s Children’s Book Drive are encouraged to call the United Way office at (208) 336-1070. 

“We look forward to the Children’s Book Drive each year because it gives everyone in the Treasure Valley an opportunity to change a child’s life,” said Nora Carpenter, CEO and president of United Way of Treasure Valley. “Whether someone has a box of children’s books collecting dust in a closest or they want to buy some new books and donate them, each book can make a difference for our community’s kids.”

According to Book It Forward Idaho, only about one in 300 Idaho children in low-income households own books. 

United Way hosts the Children’s Book Drive in April to help get books to local kids before schools end for the summer. Research shows that a lack of reading materials is one contributor to ‘summer learning loss.’ 

During the summer, low-income students often regress by more than two months in reading achievement while their middle-class peers make slight gains, research shows. This gap compounds each year during a child’s schooling.

According to the Idaho Department of Education, 81 percent of low-income kindergarteners were reading at grade level in the spring of 2013. When they returned to school in the fall, only 56 percent were reading at grade level.

“Many children in the Treasure Valley and across Idaho do not have books to call their own,” said Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, her third year as spokesperson for the United Way Children’s Book Drive. “The Children’s Book Drive gives each one of us the opportunity to help a child by donating a new or gently used children’s book to United Way.”

Book drop-off sites throughout the valley

Many Treasure Valley residents will be able to bring books directly to their workplace, as dozens of companies have agreed to host donation boxes. People interested in donating can also drop off new or gently used books at any U.S. Bank or Albertsons store throughout the Treasure Valley, April 10-14.

For a complete list of drop-off locations, click here.

Sponsors and Partners

United Way of Treasure Valley is facilitating the Children’s Book Drive in conjunction with United Way organizations in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene. 

Local sponsors include Albertsons, U.S. Bank, The River 94.9, 107.1 K-Hits, Channel 6 On Your Side, Book It Forward Idaho, Easter Seals Goodwill, Idaho Statesman, West Valley Medical Center and the Sundance Company.