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Vancouver's A Good Book Drive Expands To Brooklyn

10/30/2014 07:25 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST

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Since 2012, A Good Book Drive has inspired Vancouverites to donate a new copy of their favourite kids' book during the month of November. The third annual drive, launching Nov. 1, aims to collect 3,000 books to donate to this year's recipient, ONE TO ONE Literacy -- a unique local children's program that supports struggling young students by encouraging a love of reading.

The City of Vancouver proclaimed November 2014 A Good Book Drive Month, honoring the annual project that celebrates the stories we read, share, and love.

ONE TO ONE is a children's literacy program that provides one-to-one tutoring to children in elementary schools across the Vancouver area during regular school hours. Their trained volunteer tutors work with students who are identified by their teachers as needing a boost in their literacy skills. Typically, each student spends approximately 30 minutes, twice a week, with a volunteer tutor.

Children chosen for the program often receive little or no literacy support at home. ONE TO ONE provides these children with an opportunity to practice their reading in an environment where it is okay to take risks, make mistakes, and learn at their own pace. The program is celebrating its 25th year, and annually provides about 24,000 hours of reading support to over 800 children in 59 schools throughout the Vancouver and North Vancouver school districts.

Established by Cory Ashworth and Lizzy Karp, A Good Book Drive was inspired by the way adults talk about kids' books. "When people tell me about childhood memories of reading, they share incredibly rich stories," says Lizzy Karp, producer of local storytelling event Rain City Chronicles." Our passion for storytelling is influenced by what we read as a kid, so we wanted to create an element in this book drive to celebrate those stories." Adds Cory Ashworth, "We want an opportunity to reflect on the books and powerful stories that impacted our lives in big and small ways."

Running through the month of November, A Good Book Drive asks Vancouverites to purchase a new copy of their favourite kids' book and deliver it to set locations throughout the city including Collage Collage, Nelson the Seagull, Dilly Dally, The Juice Truck, and many more. There, donors will be able to personalize their donation with a special bookplate, sharing their own story of why that book is special. By permanently placing those stories within the cover of the books, the students in the ONE TO ONE program will read the personal narratives and learn about the impact that book had on someone else's life.

2014 also launches the first expansion of the Vancouver-based drive. The Brooklyn drive will be locally executed by Marco Garcia, with books donated going to Brooklyn Community Services.

As one of the oldest and largest nonprofit organizations in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Community Services provides comprehensive programs to help people in low-income communities overcome their obstacles and reach personal goals. Their programs include early childhood development, education and youth development, family counselling, skills training and employment, mental health and wellness, services for people with developmental disabilities, disaster recovery, and relief. They serve over 13,000 people each year.

A Good Book Drive will be sharing images and stories of the books donated in Vancouver and Brooklyn throughout the month of November at agoodbookdrive.com.