Northbrook scouts collect books for needy kids
Westmoor students collected more than 2,230 new and gently used books for Bernie’s Book Bank, a not-for-profit organization that provides books for children in low-income neighborhoods. | Provided
Updated: January 3, 2013 12:12PM
NORTHBROOK — Because of Westmoor School’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 41111, underprivileged children throughout the Chicago area have been reading during the holidays.
The Westmoor students collected more than 2,230 new and gently used books for Bernie’s Book Bank, a not-for-profit organization that provides books for children in low-income neighborhoods.
The 9- and 10-year-old Northbrook fourth-graders recruited students, set grade-level and school-wide goals, made classroom announcements and counted the books four times during the drive.
Then the scouts boxed up the books to give to Jessie Urban, director of operations and logistics for Bernie’s Book Bank of Lake Forest.
According to Bernie’s Book Bank website, there is a ratio of about one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods, and more than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at home.
The book bank, a registered 501c3 organization, has distributed one million books in less than three years. It is now serving 60,000 at-risk children in the Chicago area and hopes to distribute one million books per year beginning in 2013.
Urban said the organization facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new and gently used children’s books, with the goal of significantly increasing book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children.
“The books you once loved will be given to children who will also love them,” she added.
The organization provides 12 age-appropriate books a year (six in the fall, and six in the spring) to at-risk students at schools across the Chicago and nearby suburbs, as well as Zion and Waukegan, Urban noted.
“The best part of collecting the books was that we were helping other children to learn to read,” said Grace Mock, 9.
Judith Seng, 10, said some of her favorite books went to the disadvantaged children. They were about princesses, super heroes and history.
“The hardest part of the collection was getting everyone at school to know about it. Once they found out, some said it was a great idea,” said Kelly Nugent, 9.
Joanne Mock, mother of Grace and co-leader of the group with Ann Nugent, said the girls really liked the project, because they are at the age that they like to take charge of things.
“Our troop was very proud to be in charge of such a great effort and we hope to continue working with books and volunteering for this project,” she added.