We all remember our favorite books from our childhood. They stick with us for the rest of our lives and are a large part of our formative years. One of my favorite book series was Encyclopedia Brown. Each book contained around 10 cases Encyclopedia Brown, the boy detective, solves. The solutions to the cases were listed separately at the back of the book allowing the reader to solve the cases on their own before reading Encyclopedia’s solutions.
In April, a group of United Way Emerging Leaders, their families and the Adopt a Book team came together to sort books collected from book drives hosted by Emerging Leaders throughout Greater Cincinnati. The goal was to donate 1,500 books to Adopt a Book. Volunteers, including myself, arrived to a mountain of books. It appeared as if we had met our goal, but to know for sure, we would need to sort, label and count them.
Adopt a Book was started by 11-year-old twins Hannah and Alexander in 2011 when they read about kids in the Greater Cincinnati area who didn’t have books or access to a library. Hannah and Alexander, both avid readers, decided that something needed to be done so they started collecting books for children who didn’t have any. Three years later, they have collected over 40,000 books for over 35 organizations.
One of the Bold Goals for Our Region is that 85% of youth will graduate from high school by 2020. One strong indicator of high school graduation is when students are able to read at grade level by the end of third grade. Emerging Leaders are focusing our energy toward helping children learn to read proficiently. Collecting books for those students is one of the ways that the Emerging Leaders are Living United.
After three hours of sorting, labeling and counting the mountain of books, we were able to surpass our goal and donate 2,701 books!
Here's how you can be a part of change: