LAKE COUNTY, IL (06/13/12) – Page it Forward is Lake County’s largest summer-long book drive, spearheaded by United Way of Lake County (UWLC). Last year, the goal of the campaign was to collect 100,000 books for low-income children in Lake County through a summer-long book drive with a contemporary twist. UWLC ended up surpassing their goal and collected a record-breaking 154,000 books.
In 2012, Page it Forward 2.0 will be the second annual summer-long celebration of reading. The goal this summer is to collect 200,000 books to be distributed to low-income children in Lake County.
United Way of Lake County’s kindergarten readiness assessment of incoming kindergartners’ skills in Waukegan, found that 76% of Waukegan 6 year olds had no knowledge of books. Furthermore, research by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that 61% of low-income homes have no age-appropriate reading material for children. Reading is the most important skill a child needs to learn, but children can’t become proficient readers without access to books.
Page it Forward 2.0 will officially kick off for the year on Thursday, June 21st, in conjunction with United Way Worldwide’s National Day of Action. Throughout the day, Trustmark (Lake Forest) and Aon Hewitt (Lincolnshire) will be hosting corporate challenge collection sites for donated books. A third corporate challenge collection site will be held on July 19th at United Conveyor in Waukegan. The corporate challenge is open to all businesses in Lake County. Businesses that sign up to participate are provided with toolkits that help them run their own book drives. The books that each business collects are then dropped off to one of the three corporate challenge sites. The three businesses that donate the most books will receive a custom Page it Forward traveling trophy, bragging rights for the year and special recognition at UWLC’s Annual Leadership Breakfast in the fall.
In addition to two corporate challenges on June 21st, UWLC will be hosting a speed reading competition at Barnes & Noble in Vernon Hills at 10am. Local community figures including George McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Haynes Johns of WXLC radio and three other prominent figures in Lake County will be competing in front of an audience and a panel of judges to see who is the best speed reader in Lake County! The public is welcome to attend this exciting promotional event.
Throughout the summer, there will also be several other community locations throughout Lake County that will be accepting donations for Page it Forward 2.0, including First Midwest Bank locations, Starbucks locations, and local Farmer’s Markets and Park Districts. The full list can be viewed at www.pageitforward.org.
Page it Forward 2.0 is truly an old-fashioned book drive with a contemporary twist. In addition to the ambitious scale of the “on-site” book drives in the form of corporate challenges and community drop-off sites, United Way of Lake County offers a set of cutting-edge social media options to make contributing toward the goal of 200,000 books through the Page it Forward 2.0 campaign accessible, exciting and meaningful to all. Whether it’s collecting donations through custom Peer-to-Peer fundraising tools, or texting the word PAGE to 85944 to donate $10 to childhood literacy, or “liking” Page it Forward at www.facebook.com/pageitforward, everyone in the community has an opportunity to support this important cause in their own, unique way.
Patch.com, an online media source, is also sponsoring Page it Forward 2.0 through social media efforts. Patch is donating one book for every “Like” that the Page it Forward Facebook page receives. This provides all residents of Lake County with and easy effective way to contribute books to Page it Forward 2.0.
Other Page it Forward 2.0 sponsors include 102.3 WXLC, BMO Harris Banks and Waukegan Tire.
“We are very excited to kick off Page it Forward 2.0 in Lake County,” said Kristi Long, President and CEO of the United Way of Lake County. “United Way of Lake County is confident that we can meet our goal of collecting 200,000 books with the help of residents and businesses in our community, which will mean that over 33,000 low-income children will have books to call their own.”
For more information, including volunteer opportunities, downloadable materials and the latest updates, visit www.pageitforward.org.
About United Way of Lake County:
United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is preparing our children to succeed in a changing world by focusing on education and building safe and stable families. Working with nonprofit agencies and community partners, we have identified four key programs to prepare children to succeed: Success By 6 Program – prepare for kindergarten; Reading Success Program – read at grade level; Stay in School Program – graduate high school; Safe and Stable Families Program – empowering families. UWLC is overcoming reading and educational barriers by reaching children, from preschool through high school, through these key programs. The overall effect and benefits are multiplied by the strong collaboration with agencies and our community partners.