DOVER — A book drive is underway in Dover. The public are being asked to donate new and gently used books for young children, up to about age 6.
The books will be given to Read Aloud Delaware, a nonprofit with a mission to ensure that each preschool child in Delaware is regularly read to, one-on-one.
All books for young children are welcome. Sturdy board books and lift-the-flap books are especially popular. Chapter books are discouraged. At a minimum, books must be considered to be in good condition, with no missing covers, ripped/torn pages or wet/moldy pages. Decommissioned library books are welcome.
People can help give the gift of literacy to Delaware’s youngest and most vulnerable children. When youngsters are exposed to books at an early age, their vocabulary skills and imagination grow.
This book drive is a community service program of the Leadership Central Delaware Class of 2022. LCD is a yearlong leadership program hosted by Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, which aims to prepare future leaders of all ages with the information, knowledge and resources they need to make this a better place to live and work.
“I think it opens up their imagination more than to see it on TV, when they begin to read, they can grow in their knowledge of things,” said Beatrice Smith, LCD 2022 book drive manager and local chef.
As a mom, she’s learned that “Reading helps you to bond with your kids. The more time you spend, the more the kids feel loved. I’m busy … but when you have that down-book time, it’s all eyes on me, then kid is interested, the parent is interested, and it just helps to grow the communication between the two.”
That’s part of the Read Aloud Delaware project: to partner volunteers with schools and early learning centers so share one-on-one reading time.
The book drop-off is inside Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, 435 N. DuPont Highway, Dover. (Route 13 near Mission BBQ and St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church). Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday to Friday.
Dover Air Force Base personnel can also deliver books to locations at 519 Atlantic St. and 270 Atlantic St.
For more information on the book drive, email LCDclass2022@gmail.com.