Award Winning 'Book Bank' Returns

Drive Begins To Support Winter Break Reading

Growing up in Columbus, Scott Shremshock treasured adventure stories like Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Shremshock loved reading so much that when his children, now 22, 20 and 15, were younger, he insisted they appreciate reading too.

 “You can fire up a child’s mind with books,” said Shremshock, a partner in New Albany-based Shremshock Architects.

So it wasn’t difficult for him in 2013 to ask staff of the 131-employee company if they wanted to support Homeport’s initial “Bright Ideas Book Bank” program drive meant to provide quality, age appropriate reading for Homeport children during the Christmas and New Year school break.

This fall, for the third year, Shremshock employees (pictured above) will support the program that in 2014 received the Literacy Leader Award from the Ohio Educational Library Media Association and a Certificate of Commendation the from The American Association of School Librarians.

Homeport Volunteer Engagement Manager Morgen Wade is hopeful that many companies, and individuals, who have collected or purchased books for the program previously, will do so again.

 “We hope to serve 500 children ages 0-18 in Homeport communities,” Wade said. The goal is to collect 800 books. 

 The books for the drive are based on input from librarians and Homeport children and represent a cross section of topics and classics.

Children and their parents let Homeport know which books they want to read and Homeport, based on that participation, does its best to match the donations to requests. This year’s books will be delivered at Book Fairs in Homeport communities the week preceding Winter school break.

Choices this year range from “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” a time travel thriller, to “Zebrafish,” the tale of a garage band, to “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future,” a silly graphic novel.

Individuals or companies wishing to support the book drive can click on booklist from Amazon

Homeport is looking for program support from companies, churches, synagogues, or schools on service drives, selling the concept that children engaged in learning during school breaks are less likely to regress in their ability to read and to retain knowledge.

Participants in 2014 included Starbucks, Siemer Family Foundation, Shremshock, EMH&T, Fishel Hass Kim Albrecht, Target, MCR Services, Homeport Staff and Families, St. Pius Catholic Church, Second and Seven Foundation and individual donors.

Thank you letter from Homeport resident in 2013

Thank you letter from Homeport resident in 2013

While individuals or companies can drop off books on the list to Homeport, the Amazon list allows for the books to be purchased on line and mailed directly to Homeport’s office at 3443 Agler Road.

Shremshock says the chance of impact versus the cost is great and should encourage others to participate.

“Books are a very inexpensive investment for a potentially large return in someone’s life,” he said.

(Individuals or organizations interested in learning more about or supporting the Bright Ideas Book Bank program are encouraged to contact Morgen Wade, Homeport’s Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at morgen.wade@homeportohio.org.)