United Way of San Diego County Hosts Book Drive to Foster a Love of Reading in Local Children


Media Contacts:
Ann Marie Price / Geneva Gámez
Scatena Daniels

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United Way of San Diego County Hosts Book Drive to Foster a Love of Reading in Local Children
Nonprofit kicks off ‘Read Across America’ campaign to collect 2,000 new books to donate to K-12 students throughout the region

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 8, 2023) — To commemorate National Read Across America Day, United Way of San Diego County (UWSD) in partnership with Warwick’s La Jolla and Libélula Books & Co. in Barrio Logan will host its annual book drive starting Feb. 14.

“Children everywhere have big dreams of becoming writers, doctors, lawyers, artists, veterinarians, and more. Lack of access to books and not reading at grade level are reasons why students fall behind in school and their dreams slip away. To help keep dreams a reality, our team alongside our community partners work to ensure local students are reading at grade level,” says Nancy L. Sasaki, President and CEO, United Way of San Diego County.

Keeping dreams alive, one book at a time
All children dream about what they want to be when they grow up. Unfortunately, for many, those dreams slip away due to disparities around education and family stability that ultimately hold them back. Additionally, when children don’t have access to books at home, it jeopardizes their ability to continue growing their reading skills. Studies show that children not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, largely because foundational reading comprehension is crucial for building more advanced educational concepts.

While studies show that enhancing a child’s access to books at home has a significant impact on their long-term learning, many students in the San Diego County community do not have enough age-appropriate books in their home libraries. To combat this major gap, many students – particularly in diverse communities – urgently need high-quality, age-appropriate books in their home libraries. By supporting UWSD’s “Read Across America” campaign, you are ensuring children can make their dreams a reality and bridge the educational gap.

Through March 31, local companies and individuals are encouraged to either donate new books or make monetary donations to help foster a love for reading in K-12 students throughout San Diego County. UWSD hopes to collect 2,000 books through this drive to increase children’s access to books at home and encourage a generation of diverse readers. After the drive is complete, all the books will be donated to San Diego County children in need to help enhance their home libraries.

Show support your way
Kicking off on Valentine’s Day, community members anywhere can give back to the UWSD book drive in the following ways:

  • Virtually: Donors can purchase books online through Warwick’s La Jolla and choose from a list of diverse recommended books. Visit uwsd.org/books to purchase books online.
    • When purchasing a book on Warwick’s website, select the “Pick Up In- Store” option. Warwick’s will automatically ensure that your donation is added to the “Read Across America” book donations.
  • In-person: Books can also be purchased in-person at Warwick’s La Jolla (7812 Girard Ave.) and Libélula Books & Co. (950 S 26th St.) in Barrio Logan.
    • Receive two complimentary scones from Brick and Bell Cafe (928 Silverado St.) with a purchase from Warwick’s La Jolla. Ask in-store for details.
    • Receive a complimentary proper coffee or V12 cold brew from Cafe Moto (2619 National Ave.) with a purchase from Libélula Books & Co. Ask in-store for details.
  • Make a financial contribution: Visit uwsd.org/books to make a monetary donation online. Every donation helps to address inequities in our community and close gaps in education, literacy, and economic mobility so that all San Diegans can thrive.
  • Drop off a new book in-person at UWSD: New, unused books will be accepted in-person at UWSD’s office (4699 Murphy Canyon Road) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the following Tuesdays:
    • February 21 ○ February 28 ○ March 7
    • March 14 ○ March 21 ○ March 28

“An ample, age-appropriate at-home library supports childhood literacy by providing children with tools to grow their reading skills, especially during breaks from school. We call on our community to not only support local students and families that need more books at home, but also improve long-term learning and literacy outcomes to help make our students’ dreams come true,” says Sasaki.

Sponsors for this year’s “Read Across America” book drive include Eli Lilly and Holman Enterprises. For more information on how to support the drive or become a sponsor, visit uwsd.org/books.

For more than 100 years, United Way of San Diego County has aligned with partners to address inequities in the region and help underserved communities. United Way’s specialty lies in identifying sustainable, long-term goals and achieving them through leveraging data and partners’ expertise to better understand root causes and implement impactful solutions.

United Way’s work, in partnership with others, uses shared goals, innovation, and proven practices to transform the lives of children, young adults, and families in the San Diego region. United Way focuses on educational milestones, such as kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school preparation, and college and career pathways. Learn more and get involved by visiting uwsd.org, Facebook, Twitter, or by calling (858) 492-2000.