In light of Dr. Suess’s birthday and National March into Literacy Month, Presbyterian Village North, a senior living community in Dallas, decided to host a book drive to collect all types of books for kindergarteners through sixth graders who attend Stults Road Elementary. The book drive was spontaneously organized when Lisa Englander, life enrichment manager of Presbyterian Village North (PVN), learned of the need for books. She put together flyers and shared information to get the word out as soon as she could, and she kick-started the drive on Dr. Suess’s birthday last week. The drive will end on April 7 when PVN residents deliver the books to the students and spend time reading to them.
“Lauren Siler, a teacher at Stults Road Elementary, had reached out to us to see if we could provide volunteers for National Reading Week last week,” said Englander. “During our conversation, she mentioned the school was in need of some new books and said she really wanted to expand the book collection they offer students. I felt this was an opportunity that we needed to jump on immediately. She loved the idea and was thrilled we were
so enthusiastic and able to help.”
Originally the drive was going to last all of National Reading Week, but PVN decided to extend the book drive through April 7. This book drive is open to the public as well, so people in the surrounding community may bring children’s books for grades kindergarten through sixth to the community to donate. PVN is urging anyone with extra books to help make a difference in the lives of these students, as reading is such an important skill to attain at a young age when minds are most impressionable. According to research done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self-esteem and is able to easily make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
“Residents and team members are eager to contribute books to our neighboring elementary school,”
said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “Reading is a valuable, necessary basic life skill children need in order to succeed, so we are happy to provide books that will help them achieve their literary goals. Lisa has done a phenomenal job getting this organized in such a short amount of time so that we may quickly fill a need that was expressed to her. We are pleased to be a good neighbor to Stults not only by organizing resident volunteers who foster intergenerational connections, but also by addressing scholastic needs.”