Book drive promotes reading for children

Mesa County AmeriCorps is teaming up with Serve Colorado to launch a book drive for children in need.

The purpose of the drive is to promote early literacy and help local children in need become successful readers, said Angie Bertrand, Mesa County AmeriCorps director.

New and gently used reading material for children, ages birth through third grade, will be accepted. There is a great need for Spanish-language books, Bertrand said.

Last year, roughly 27 percent of Colorado students were not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, she said.

“The book drive is being carried out to provide some of the resources local children need to turn this statistic around,” Bertrand said.

The drive will also honor Martin Luther King Day — a day of national service that brings people together to bridge socioeconomic barriers and create solutions to the community’s most pressing problems, she said.

Donations are being accepted through Jan. 17 at these locations:

■ John McConnell Math & Science Center, 2600 Unaweep Ave.

■ Clifton Bible Church, 523 32 Road

■ Main Street Bagels, 559 Main Street

■ Grand Valley Books, 50 Main Street

■ Starbucks, 570 32 Road

■  Habitat ReStore, 2936 North Avenue

■ The Opportunity Center, 1129 Colorado Ave.

■ Hilltop Corporate Office, 1331 Hermosa Ave.

All books collected through the Martin Luther King Jr. book drive will be donated to nonprofit organizations such as Wishes and Dreams Childcare, Rocky Mountain SER Head Start and Catholic Outreach.

Mesa County AmeriCorps works with local agencies to match AmeriCorps volunteers with high-risk youth in a variety of settings, Bertrand said.

“We currently have volunteers ages 18 to 77 years old with a variety of skills and talents,” she said.

Serve Colorado, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, strives to build a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in Colorado, according to the organization’s website.

“Serve Colorado works under the leadership of a board of 15 commissioners to distribute and administer Colorado’s allocation of AmeriCorps state funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service,” the website said.

For information, contact Bertrand at 970-244-0633 or Hanna Bustilla at 970-244-0639.


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