Recently, members of Team OverDrive spent an afternoon volunteering at The Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, helping to sort and package books that are then sent to children, families and schools in need of reading materials. Their goal is to foster literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need, a mission we certainly believe in as well. After books are sorted and packaged by volunteers they are delivered to needy families, Boys and Girls clubs and numerous organizations throughout the city so they can reach the kids who need them most. Since February, The Cleveland Book Bank received 170,000 books and distributed 156,000 to children in need through Little Free Libraries and more than 100 partner organizations.

Studies show that being read to as a child and having books in the home are the two most important predictors of future academic success. Yet two-thirds of low-income families do not own a single children’s book. The Cleveland Book Bank and organizations like it around the country are constantly in need of volunteers and donations to help erase that number and expand literacy in your community. By doing a simple Google search of “book bank” or “Little Free Libraries” and your city you can find places to donate your time and those books that are just collecting dust on your shelves.

The few hours we got to spend at the Cleveland Book Bank were incredibly rewarding and you can get the same experience no matter where you live. Find a book bank or contact your local library for more information on how you can help provide essential reading materials to every child in your community. And, if you’re local to the Cleveland area, be sure to visit http://www.kidsbookbank.org/ to learn how you can help the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank.

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