Booked for the summer


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Volunteers are still sorting through the donations dropped off three weeks ago during the KELOLAND Media Group Founders Day of Caring book drive. Thanks to your generosity, we collected more than 37,000 books for the REACH Adult Literacy Program.

Thousands more books have poured in since the book drive. The overwhelming response means even more free books for kids to read this summer.

The shelves are swelling with good reads at the REACH A Reader bookstore in Sioux Falls.

“Every time we come in, there’s something different,” Marisa Maloney of Brandon said.

The selection is getting even wider since last month’s KELOLAND Media Group Founders Day of Caring Book Drive that brought in more than 37,000 books. Those donations include all kinds of new titles for young customers to choose from.

“Sometimes my kids want to know what’s going to be there. But I said oh, it’s just like an adventure. It’s like a treasure hunt and then we’ve just got to find something interests them and then we take it home and read it,” Maloney said.

REACH Literacy offers five free children’s books to families for each time they visit. Many of those families, in turn, donate their own books to the store.

“She gets to pick out different variety of books that might not be available at the library and she gets to bring home. So it’s nice that we can donate when we have books that she’s grown out of and then she can get into some of those newer books that she can play with at home and read and we can read over and over again,” Sioux Falls customer Rebecca Mager said.

8-year-old Nolan Hanson of Sioux Falls is browsing for books with his grandmother. Nolan tries to read about 20-minutes a day during the summer.

“Kind of like medium. I kind of read some, and kind of not,” Nolan said.

Nolan found plenty of new books to help him strike that happy medium of summer reading. Even grandma found some books for herself.

“I got some cook books. I got Betty Crocker which has been around a long time,” April Elsasser said.

Sales from books go to fund REACH’s free tutoring sessions for adult learners. Last month’s book drive not only brought in thousands of additional books, but it also helped raise awareness about REACH’s impact in the community.

“Last night, I was working and people were coming in and said that they saw about the book drive on TV a couple weeks ago and so they wanted just to come in and see what it was like,” REACH volunteer Mary Kool said.

Last year, REACH gave away 12,000 children’s books in the community. But this year, because of the strong response to the book drive, they expect to give away as many as 20,000 books!

“So we go to kids events where kids are meeting, we go to certain schools, we go into the parks, we give books away whenever we can,” Kool said.

And the books just keep coming. Since the book drive, people have dropped off more than 6,000 books. That’s a total of more than 43,000 books in less than a month.

“It can be overwhelming, but we have a large group of voiunteers that helps out with that,” Kool said.

Those volunteers sort and stack the supply and get them ready to sell. But despite having so many new books in stock, REACH could still use some of the collections from your bookshelf at home.

“As we have books that we’re giving away, we also have books that we’re selling so people are always coming in look for a certain book or a certain series so it just keeps turning around,” Kool said.

A literary loop of books going in and going out, to keep customers of all ages reading through the summer, and beyond.

If you have used books you’d like to donate, you can find out what kinds of books REACH accepts, plus the bookstore’s hours, by clicking here

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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