Wicomico Public Libraries is excited to announce the results of the Ernie Bond Memorial Book Drive. This event was created in honor of Dr. Ernie Bond, esteemed Salisbury University professor and children’s literature expert. It was the goal of the book drive to collect books for all ages, but specifically for children 8 years and younger.

The Campaign for Grade Level Reading by Annie E. Casey Foundation points to the importance of children reading at grade level by age 8. “The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security.” But reading begins as early as birth and continues through early childhood. At a minimum, children must have access to books to acquire reading skills and to practice. Their future success depends on it. Unfortunately, too many children, especially those under age 5, who are not in school, do not have regular access to books.

A total of 9,247 books were collected from 37 drop off sites across Wicomico County from April 20 – May 20, 2017. Monetary donations totaled $550. Community partners included the City of Salisbury, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, WMDT, Salisbury’s Promise, Wicomico County Board of Education, Barnes and Noble, and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, just to name a few.

Donated books will be distributed to 26 organizations that have requested books. Among the organizations include Shore Up, Wicomico County Public Schools, and Healthy Families. Funds that were donated will be used to purchase foreign language books for pre-school aged children being raised in homes where English is not the primary language spoken.

Thank you to Delmarva Public Radio for advertising and promotion assistance, Mayor Jake Day for his support, our volunteers, and community members for helping to make this inaugural book drive a success.

Wicomico Public Libraries are located in Downtown Salisbury, the Centre at Salisbury, in Pittsville, and the Library Bookmobile. Wicomico Public Libraries offer numerous resources such as free Internet access, a variety of classes and events, and an online eBooks library, and it engages the community through education, economic development and through various community events. You Belong @ Wicomico Public Libraries!

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