Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bernie's Book Bank

            Some bands started in garages, why not a charitable book organization? 

In 2008, Bernie’s Book Bank founder Brian Floriani had given up working as a golf professional and had become a reading paraprofessional for Shiloh Park Elementary School in Zion, Illinois.  In one short year, he came to the realization that most of the children he worked with did not have books at home.  The time and energy on reading intervention, while worthwhile, could be prevented if those children had books.  It was a need that Brian decided should be fulfilled.  Somebody had to do something, why not him? 

            Since 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank, has moved from Brian Floriani’s garage to a warehouse and has distributed more than 900,000 children’s books to at-risk children.  That number is expected to reach one million by November 1st.

The success of the book bank is dependent on volunteers and donations.  Many have answered the call.  Children have donated the proceeds of their lemonade stands.  Families have collected books to donate.  Volunteers help sort and package the books.  It is a community effort that was started by a man who looked for a cure instead of a band-aid. 

Bernie’s Book Bank now serves more than 55,000 children throughout the Chicagoland area – and ALL at-risk children 0 to 12 years of age living in Lake County -- who each receive a minimum of 12 books per year. Three years from now, all children in Lake County, Illinois will have received 60 books from Bernie’s Book Bank by the time they step into the door of their kindergarten classroom.  This is just the beginning of a great endeavor to give our children a great start to a great future.

            More information about the history of Bernie’s Book Bank and ways in which you can help can be found on their website:   

           A special thanks to Catherine Driscoll for the wonderful information about Bernie's Book Bank and for providing the photo.


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