students and teacher with books that were donated to class

On Tuesday, September 12th, Chicago Heights School District 170 received 15,282 high-quality, high-interest books that were provided for students in grades Pre-K through sixth grade by Bernie’s Book Bank of Chicago.

Jennifer Gorton, District 170’s Parent Academy Director, worked closely with Bernie’s Books to secure the availability of and distribution of the books.

“I am very proud that we were able to extend our partnership with Bernie’s Book Bank and we are thrilled to be working once again with such an outstanding organization,” Gorton said.

“This school year our students will receive two deliveries of book bags from Bernie’s. Their delivery trucks will be coming back again in the spring with book bags filled with six more titles,” Gorton added.

Bernie’s Book Bank is one of Chicago’s largest literacy programs. Through its children’s literacy initiative the not-for-profit organization processes and distributes quality new and gently used high-quality, high-interest children’s books with the goal of significantly increasing book availability and ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout the Chicago area.

According to its website, Bernie’s Book Bank embraces the goal of moving children from poverty to gaining knowledge through reading which enables a legitimate pursuit of happiness and believes that books and reading are both the vehicle and the road to a better life.

Maricela Ruiz, the principal at Garfield School, applauded the mission and work of Bernie’s Book Bank.

“The books that we received give our students and their families the opportunity to create a library at home and enjoy a book together, Ruiz said.

“This home connection is so important in supporting family engagement, enhancing literacy skills and ensuring our student’s continued school success.”

The district has received fantastic feedback from both students and staff who were thrilled with their Bernie's Book Bags.

“When the books come to the schools and the children receive their bags, seeing their faces with lots of smiles brings joy to my heart,” said Karen King, Parent Academy Assistant.

School District 170 Superintendent Tom Amadio praised Bernie's Book Bank, Gorton, and the district staff for their commitment to promoting reading for all the district’s students.

“With the assistance of Bernie’s Books and the ongoing enthusiasm and commitment of all our district staff in fostering a love of and interest in reading we will have a positive impact on our students’ educational experience," Amadio said.