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Drive builds libraries one book at a time

In celebration of National Read Across America Day on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, United Way of San Diego began its annual book drive on Feb. 14, with the goal of raising 2,000 books to increase children’s access to books by building their own home library collection. The drive, which run through the month of March is a partnership between UWSD, Warwick’s La Jolla and Libélula Books & Company in Barrio Logan and supports youth 18 years and under and will be distributed to youth throughout San Diego County.

UWSD President and CEO Nancy L. Sasaki said children everywhere have big dreams of becoming writers, doctors, lawyers, artists and more, and the lack of access to books and not reading at grade levels is why many students fall behind in school and their dreams “slip away.”

“It is very surprising when you read the studies that say that there are kids that do not have access to books in their homes,” she said. “Most people that I talk to, they can barely remember when they started reading. It was just part of their home life. But there are so many children in our community, and across the country, who do not have books. And reading early, getting used to sounding out words, and not only that, reading takes you places you never though you could go. It takes you on adventures, different trips, and things that you cannot get unless you are reading a book.”

This book drive is critically important to get books into the hands of kids so that they can read early, read often, and so they can have their dreams come to life by reading book, said Sasaki, who started reading at the age of 3, and said it is hard for her to imagine being in a home where there is not a book to pick up.

There are several ways to provide books for the book drive. Sasaki said books are grouped by age.

Make a financial contribution to UWSD.
• Purchase books online at Warwick’s, select “pick up in store” and it will automatically ensure donations are added to the drive.
• Purchase books in-store from Warwick’s and Libélula Books & Company to be donated Read Across America.
• Drop off new, unused books at the UWSD office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: February 28, March 7, March 14, March 21, and March 28, at 4699 Murphey Canyon Road, San Diego.

“An ample, age-appropriate at-home library supports childhood literacy by providing children with tools to grow their reading skills, especially during breaks from school. We call on our community to not only support local students and families that need more books at home, but also improve long-term learning and literacy outcomes to help make our students’ dreams come true,” said Sasaki.

For more information, visit

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Source: East County Californian

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