A WGN9 feature, “Book bank’s mission of encouraging kids to read takes on new significance during pandemic” describes GFF grantee Bernie’s Book Bank’s efforts to continue its mission during the pandemic.
Eleven years ago, a Chicago man started collecting books in his garage to donate to children. That mission has taken on a new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bernie’s Book Bank has put books into the hands of the 400,000 kids in Chicago, some without anything to read at home.
During the first week of quarantine, they distributed 40,000 books.
“When remote learning went into effect all over, we really saw the demand increase,” said Darrin Utynek, CEO of Bernie’s Book Bank. “This was an easy way for us to say ‘Okay, you can do some kind of literacy curriculum and we can help provide these books.’”