Over 2,000 books for children and adults were collected by the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) for a “Big Book Giveaway” held April 30 to benefit the children and parents in the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s two mentoring programs: Mentoring Moms and Mentoring Youth. This project is part of the BVC’s annual Books in a Bag initiative, in which employee volunteers collect, sort, bag and deliver books to help children of low-income families discover the joy of reading. Since 2000, the BVC has distributed nearly 70,000 books through this program.
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school. Families in both mentoring programs often struggle to pay for food, rent, and utilities, so books are far down on the list of “must have” items. Consequently, the children and parents rarely own books of their own and many of the children neither read nor are read to. “Providing books is an important encouragement for reading,” says Ellen Rafferty, of BD, co-chair of the BVC.
To learn more about the BVC, visit www.nnjbvc.org.