Rotary club of London Hyde Park Donates 57 Books to "A Book for Every Child" Program
Hyde Park Rotarians rose to the challenge presented by the Literacy Committee, chaired by Sue Storie, by donating 57 books to the program that were presented to the Sherwood Forest Library on December 19th.  Congratulations and thank you to each of the Rotarians to contributed to this worthwhile program.  To find out more about this program, click on the "read more" link.   
 

What is the "Book for Every Child" Program?

Londoner Staff

 (edited)

For the past 20 years the London Public Library has been ensuring every child has something special under the Christmas tree this holiday season.

During the span of two decades, a campaign called A Book for Every Child has collected 135,767 books and given them to London children.

It began after some library staff were talking about various Christmas programs and one quipped, "It's always about the toys, what about the books?"

That set Bev Polci in action and along with Friends of the Library, she began the first campaign. In its inaugural year, organizers managed to collect and disperse 4,500 books to local youngsters.

"Our average is around 6,000," said Julie Brandl, coordinator, Children's and Youth Services at the London Public Library. "Last year we were able to meet 100 per cent of the demand, which is really nice."

Of course, the public plays a huge role in the success of the program. between Saturday November 5th and Thursday Dec. 17, Londoners were able to go to their favourite book seller and purchase a book for the program at a 20 per cent discount. The book, in turn, remains at the store and Gail Turpin from Friends of the Library collected the books for dispersal.

"We ask Londoners to donate a new book or financial donation, then we purchase books for age appropriate groups that we have a high demand for," said Brandl. "We ask that the book be new because it is a gift. Sometimes this is the only book that the child has and they will read it over and over."

Over the years financial donations have increased while actual books purchased by individuals have decreased. Brandl said this could be attributed to lack of time and convenience. There is also an income tax receipt for donations over $10.

"We had one child who had a birthday party. Instead of a gift she wanted her friends to bring money or a new book for the program. I think that sends a wonderful message," Brandl said.

In memoriam donations are also increasing and Brandl said the campaign is a great way to honour someone who loved to read.

Once books and donations are collected, they are dispersed to various agencies that deal with families and children.

"When the books are given to the children, there is nothing that says it is from A Book for Every Child campaign. That is not what we want. We want them to have it as a gift under the tree," she said.

"Basically we want to increase literacy by having more books in a child's home.that is what it is all about," Brandl said.

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