United Way’s book drive aims to give children summer reading material

Fourth grade is considered the year when children switch from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Since a quarter of San Diego County fourth-graders not reading proficiently (and more than half of the county’s students are considered economically disadvantaged) United Way of San Diego County will host its second Virtual Book Drive, with the goal of purchasing 48,000 summer reading books for local kids, ages preschool to 8.

The United Way’s Virtual Book Drive will be held March 18-30 when donations of any size can be made at the “online bookstore” found at (bilingual books cost $2.50 each). A donation of $20 will buy books for eight young San Diego readers. In 2012, the Virtual Book Drive raised enough funds to purchase 21,500 bilingual books for low-income children.

Each child will receive his or her own book, a bookmark with an inspirational note, and tips for parents to encourage the love of reading. The drive will culminate with United Way’s annual Day of Action, June 21, where volunteers will help package the books and write notes to kids.

--Staff Reports