The City of Gaithersburg has partnered with Reading Tree, a national non-profit that makes books accessible to disadvantaged families across the United States. The organization operates locally to distribute books to those in need.
“The City first learned of Reading Tree when they donated books to be distributed during our ‘Breakfast and Books’ Census Rally in 2010,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz in a press release on the City of Gaithersburg website. “Since then they have become an invaluable partner, distributing more than 1,000 books throughout our community thus far and working with us to encourage reading at all levels.”
Large drop-off bins are located at various conspicuous venues across the city including: , the , and the . Donation bins can also be found at , , School, , Brown Station Elementary School, 851 Quince Orchard Boulevard, , and .
The program encourages donations of new and gently used books only. All types of books are welcome. The mission of this partnership is to foster literacy in the City of Gaithersburg.
The City's Educational Enrichment Committee coordinates the venture and books will primarily go to students in Gaithersburg Title 1 schools and their families.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, which runs the federal grant program, Title 1 Schools are elementary and secondary public schools where at least 40 percent of the student population comes from low-income households. The funds appropriated to boost performance in these designated schools help run intervention and prevention programs for youth at risk, promoting dropout rate reduction and school improvements. The schools must demonstrate a willingness and committment to raise education standards and test scores.
Through the promotion of collaboration between businesses, community members, nonprofits and schools, the Educational Enrichment Committee organizes and implements programs that enhance educational achievement and promote academic success in the City of Gaithersburg.
Reading Tree operates in the U.S. and Canada and is committed to recycling and reusing books so that they don't contribute to the growing mass of landfills across North America, while promoting literacy and finding suitable homes for them in families, schools and libraries in need.
According to Reading Tree, "85 percent of juvenile offenders have reading problems," and "the only behavioral measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home."
Other Reading Tree partners include: Boys and Girls Clubs, BookPALS, a national literacy program of The Screen Actors Guild, Communities in Schools and the National Children's Reading Foundation, among others.
Since 2007, Reading Tree has donated over 1.7 million books to schools.
To find out more about Reading Tree, click here.