The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, together with the Heart of America Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on providing children with the tools to read, succeed, and make a difference, has launched a community-wide Book Drive which runs throughout the month of March.
New books collected – either at dozens of drop-off locations or through online donations - will be placed in Baltimore City school libraries renovated as part of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. The Baltimore Library Project is a multi-year, $10 million collaborative effort to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated elementary/middle school libraries in high-poverty neighborhoods where many students face academic challenges. This year, the Library Project opens four new school libraries in addition to the five spaces already transformed over the past two years. More than 4,000 students and their families have been touched by this initiative since 2012.
As in past years, donated books will be collected in bins located at more than 50 Baltimore-area businesses, schools/universities, and other organizations. But this year, the Weinberg Foundation is making it easier to donate online. For example, all print promotional materials will include a QR code that can be scanned and will link directly to the donation page at www.baltimorelibraryproject.org. Every $7 donated puts one book on the shelf of one of these new libraries.
The Weinberg Foundation looks forward to publicizing wonderful stories of individuals and organizations supporting this year’s Book Drive in unique and powerful ways. For example, students who attend current Library Project schools are taking part in a “Penny Challenge” – passing along the gift of reading which they received. This friendly fundraising competition between school sites proves that even spare change can create meaningful change.
For more information on the Library Project Book Drive including a listing of drop-off locations, as well as the Library Project itself, please visit www.baltimorelibraryproject.org and follow on Twitter at #libraryproject.