“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book” – Dr. Seuss

Reading over the summer break months is one of the main ways to keep your child’s brain active and growing in a constant state of learning. Reading not only increases a child’s intelligence, it teaches them about the world around them! Reading improves vocabulary and language skills, concentration, and development of imagination and empathy. It is also a great way to build relationships by spending time with others…and reading is fun!

Unfortunately, too many children experience the “summer slide”, which is the loss of academic skills that occurs when school is not in session and children are not reading. Much of the “summer slide” is due to the fact that access to books diminishes when school is not in session.

To encourage summer reading and increase access to books, United Way of Broome County held our 3rd Annual Summer Book Drive. In the month of June, we collected over 650 new books for children in grades K – 5 involved summer programs, all across Broome County. The book drive included individual book donations, workplace book drives, and donated funds to purchase new books.

One of the key events during this year’s Summer Book Drive was a book fair held at Barnes & Noble to raise additional funds to purchase books. Store customers also had the opportunity to purchase books and donate to the book drive. We were fortunate enough to be accompanied by a Rumble Ponies player that came to lend a hand and sign autographs for young children. The fun filled day not only brought smiles to young faces, but also put books in the hands of children who otherwise may not have access throughout the summer.

On June 27, United Way of Broome County celebrated Day of Action! Our office was filled to capacity with over 650 books to be packed for children in grades K-5. Rowdy, from the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and team staff members volunteered, with a group of children from the community, to help the United Way pack each book into custom track bags, to distribute all across Broome County.

The biggest challenge on packing day was getting Rowdy to focus on packing, and not reading!

All books are being distributed to children participating in summer programs to the following locations:

Union Endicott Central School District
Deposit Central School District
Binghamton Central School District
YMCA
YWCA

The books will be delivered throughout the month of July, with the first stop being the YMCA. Seeing the smiling faces and excitement of the children brings immense joy to each member of the United Way of Broome County team! We are looking forward to delivering more books and seeing many more smiling faces throughout the rest of the month. Follow us on Facebook to see updates!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Annual Day of Action Summer Book Drive, we could not have made this significant of an impact without you!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

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