WORCESTER — The City That Reads Committee kicked off its 19th annual book drive this week with a new theme: "Spring into books."
The drive, which runs until June 1 this year, has paired kids and community organizations throughout Worcester with millions of books to promote literacy in the city. And this year, the group's goal is hand out 30,000 more.
"There are more students who have come into our city from other countries during the past two years and there are many other children lacking the necessary resources at home," said former School Committee member John Monfredo who co-founded the the City that Reads Committee with his wife, Anne-Marie. "It's time to ramp it up this year."
The books are mainly targeted to children in pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, and have been donated to kids from low-income backgrounds, students in dual-language programs, and children in other programs or social agencies, like Head Start.
Books have also been given to organizations like the YWCA, YMCA and the Rainbow Child Development Center.
Anne-Marie Monfredo, a former teacher, said the duo started the book drive to encourage kids from the community to develop a "love for reading" and put the books into the hands of those who "have so few."
The books collected this year will be sorted and distributed to schools and organizations before the start of summer vacation.
Those interested in donating books can find donation sites below. All locations are found in Worcester, unless started otherwise:
Worcester Public Library - main branch at 3 Salem St.
Worcester Public Library - Frances Perkins branch at 470 W Boylston St.
John Durkin Administration Building at 20 Irving Street, outside the superintendent’s office
All Worcester Public Schools
St. Paul's School at 144 Granite St.
Worcester Academy at 81 Providence St.
Bancroft School at 110 Shore Dr.
Saint John's High School at 378 Main St. in Shrewsbury
Bay State Savings Banks – all branches
Shaw's Market at 14 W. Boylston St.
Stop and Shop – all sites
Starbucks at 41 Park Ave.
Other donation sites can be found on the Worcester Public School district website.
Monfredo said that those who are looking for more information, or would be interested in assisting, can call (508) 853-3444, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Worcester's annual City That Reads book drive underway