Chicagoland Speedway book drive to benefit local reading rooms
9/1/2015, 10:24 a.m.
Chicagoland Speedway will hold hold a Children’s Book Drive this month to collect books for the National Hook-up of Black Women/Silver Cross Hospital’s nine Reading Rooms.
New and gently used books written for children pre-school through fifth grade can be dropped off at Silver Cross Hospital, 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, and at the Chicagoland Speedway’s Administration Building, 500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet, until Sept. 20.
Race fans can also donate books at the Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Sept. 18 to 20. Collection bins will be located at the National Hook-up of Black Women and Silver Cross Hospital booths in Champions Park.
Books will be distributed among the nine Reading Room locations: Aunt Martha’s East Joliet Community Center, Broadway Center Head Start, Fairview Community Center, Forest Park Community Center, Good Shepherd Center Head Start, Shiloh Baptist Church Health Center, The Salvation Army, St. John’s Center Head Start, and Unity Community Development Center for Working Families.
In the Reading Rooms, children and parents can swap, borrow or take a book to keep in their own personal libraries. Different from most organizations or traditional libraries, there are no fees, registration or book returns.
People are encouraged to keep the books in their homes to share with other family members. Research shows that having books in the home has a major effect on children’s education levels.
The Reading Rooms are part of the Reading for Life Literacy Program, a grassroots initiative founded by the National Hook-up of Black Women-Joliet Chapter (NHBW) to raise the literacy level of children the East Side of Joliet—the poorest area of the city.
“Our goal is to increase the percentage of students reading by the time they enter kindergarten and establish a literacy based-resource center for daycares/nurseries and grade schools,” said Debra Upshaw, NHBW, Joliet Chapter president.
In 2009, the first NHBW/Silver Cross Hospital Reading Room was opened in the Unity Community Development Center for Working Families. Over the past five years, the Reading for Life Literacy Program has provided free access to over 50,000 books for more than 3,000 children and adults in the community.
For more information about the Book Drive, contact Leslie Newbon at 815-300-1096 or Debra Upshaw at 815-509-0063.