• 2024 Children’s Book Drive

    What is the 2024 Children’s Book Drive?
    The Children’s Book Drive is a collaborative effort between United Way of Rhode Island, Women United, and Books Are Wings to engage local businesses, community organizations, individuals, and families in fostering a love of reading, while encouraging children to build their own libraries at home.

    This will be our twelfth year collecting books. Over the past eleven years, we’ve put 308,450 books into the hands of children statewide.

    When is the 2024 Children’s Book Drive?
    This year’s Book Drive will take place in April and May, ending just in time for summer learning. Individual collections can run for any length of time during April and May – a few days, a few weeks, or an entire month.

    Why is the Children’s Book Drive important?

    • Children who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school than proficient readers, profoundly affecting their future earnings.
    • Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) 2021–2022 Grade 3 data reported that only 37% of all students met or exceeded expectations in Reading skills. Among students from under-resourced households, it was 20%. By race, 48% of white students, 22% of Black students, 19% of Hispanic students, and 12% of American Indian students met or exceeded expectations. Source: RIDE, www3.ride.ri.gov/ADP#
    • Children in under-resourced families have fewer reading materials and for many there are zero books in the home. Early access to books is critical to successful reading development and summer reading can help close the reading achievement gap.
    What types of books are needed?
    New and gently used books for children — from babies to middle school — are welcome. We are NOT able to accept books for adults, reference books, textbooks, workbooks, cookbooks, discarded library books, or mildewed/damaged books.

    Buy and Ship
    Companies can give employees the option to order books through Amazon or a local bookstore. Employees can choose one of their favorite books or order from Books Are Wings’ Wish List and have them shipped directly to us.

    What should I collect books in?
    Copy paper boxes with lids are ideal — they’re eco-friendly, free, and stackable for easy storage.

    Where are the books going?
    Books will be distributed at Books Are Wings programs and summer partner sites. To learn more about United Way’s education priorities, please visit www.unitedwayri.org.

    How can I promote my drive?
    We have a customizable communications tool kit including posters, flyers, and social media content. Once you have registered to host a drive, contact bookdrive@unitedwayri.org and we’ll email the materials to you.

    Book Pick-Up Day
    Book Pick-Up Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, 2024. For companies who are partners in United Way’s Annual Workplace Campaign, we will pick up your books when your drive has ended. Let us know how many books you’ve collected and we’ll schedule a time for pick up. Not a campaign partner? Please drop off your books at United Way on Tuesdays from April 16 - May 28, 2024. Contact bookdrive@unitedwayri.org.

    What is United Way’s Day of Action? Can I volunteer?
    Day of Action is a worldwide United Way event, offering volunteer opportunities focused on the work of local United Way organizations. In Rhode Island, the Day of Action will be held on June 8, 2024 with shifts from 9 a.m. - noon and 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. to sort, label, and prepare the books for distribution to children in summer learning and afterschool programs. Contact volunteer@unitedwayri.org to volunteer.

    Collection Sites
    United Way of Rhode Island, 50 Valley St., Providence
    Books Are Wings, Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Suite 711B, Pawtucket 
    To see a list of additional collection sites, click here.


    For more information about running a book drive, contact bookdrive@unitedwayri.org.United Way of Rhode Island

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