Help collect 10,000 books for kids

Love of ReadingLiteracy Connects is partnering with local businesses and education-focused organizations to collect more than 10,000 books for high-risk children as part of a monthlong “Love of Reading” celebration in Tucson.

The group hopes this community-wide celebration of reading will help create a new conversation about education in Pima County and encourage community engagement in children’s literacy.

Lead partners include Literacy Connects, Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, Child-Parent Centers Inc., and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s office, with support from Pima Federal Credit Union, Buffalo Exchange, Pima County Public Library, and Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.

Community members are encouraged to:

  • Collect and donate new or gently used children’s books throughout February. Picture books and easy readers for children in pre-kindergarten through third grade are especially needed.
  • Share a selfie with your favorite book or a picture of your TBR (To Be Read) stack on the Love of Reading Tucson Facebook page or via Twitter (#LORTucson)
  • Volunteer to support literacy in Tucson through Literacy Connects, read to students at your local elementary school, or get involved with your favorite library.
  • Learn about the importance of early literacy skills for individual and community economic success at

Collected books will be redistributed to high-risk children in Pima County through Literacy Connects’ Reading Seed program, Head Start centers, and other partner organizations.

“Kids can’t learn to love reading if they don’t have books at home. When you donate books or volunteer, you are giving students in our community the opportunity to become excited about their own education and future, said Betty Stauffer, Executive Director of Literacy Connects. “That is the best foundation for success that we can possibly provide for the children of Tucson.”

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Reading Seed program alone distributed more than 45,000 free books to elementary students and teachers in more than 40 Title I schools. Reading Seed is currently serving 1,587 struggling readers in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program anticipates needing an additional 5,000 to 10,000 books for this year to meet the needs of the students and schools they serve.

“The number of appropriate books in the home is a strong predictor of a child’s future academic achievement, but many of the children we serve have no books of their own at home,” explains Tamara McKinney, Reading Seed Program Director. “That’s why free books are such an important part of the Reading Seed model.”

In addition to collecting books, guest readers will share their love of reading with preschool children at Head Start centers throughout Pima County. These centers currently serve 1,472 low-income students between 3 and 5 years old.

“Reading should be a fun and engaging activity between child and adult. Research has demonstrated that children who are read to and have conversations with caring adults have greater success in school and in life. We want that for every child in Pima County,” said Jaymie Jacobs from the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office.”

Book donations can be dropped off at the following locations until March 1, 2015:

  • Pima County School Superintendent: 200 N. Stone Ave
  • Literacy Connects: 200 E. Yavapai Rd.
  • Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona: 4300 E. Broadway Blvd.
  • Buffalo Exchange: 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.
  • City Ward Office #1: 940 W. Alameda St.
  • City Ward Office #2: 7575 E. Speedway Blvd.
  • City Ward Office #3: 1510 E. Grant Rd.
  • Clements Recreation Center: 8155 E. Poinciana
  • City Ward Office #5: 4300 South Park Ave.
  • City Ward Office #6: 3202 E. 1st
  • Pima Federal Credit Union: Stone Financial Center, 3730 N. Stone Ave.
  • PFCU Thornydale: 6510 N. Thornydale Rd.
  • PFCU Valencia: 2455 E. Valencia Rd.
  • PFCU Pantano: 231 N. Pantano Rd.



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