Fostering Fun In Book Reading

Starbucks employees volunteered at Marsh Run Book Fair

Starbucks employees volunteered at Marsh Run Book Fair

Homeport’s Winter Break reading initiative reached over 360 children by the time the last of a dozen book fairs concluded in December.  The third year, award-winning initiative also delivered fun.

Copies of books like “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” a time travel thriller, or“The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future,” a silly graphic novel, came with face painting, paper crafts and cups of hot cocoa.

“At school, reading is regimented and can be perceived as a chore. Our program, ‘Book Bank,’ fosters excitement for the adventures that books can take you on,” said Morgen Wade, Homeport’s Manager of Volunteer Engagement.

Target employees at Emerald Glen Book Fair

Target employees at Emerald Glen Book Fair

December’s book fairs were the culmination of a three-month effort by Homeport staff, organization volunteers and community partners.

Ten companies and organizations, as well as individual donors, purchased books or contributed gift cards or cash. Several, such as Target, chose to go even further, sending employees to the Book Fairs.

“At Target we are invested in education as well as safe and healthy communities.  That mission pairs perfectly with Homeport’s book fairs,” said Jessica Reynolds, a director assistant and area volunteer coordinator for Target. “Target feels strongly that volunteering is an important way we can give back to the communities we live and work in.  We are proud to be a partner with Homeport on an event that brings so much value to the community -- and so much joy too!”

The books for the drive are based on input from librarians and Homeport children and represent a cross section of topics and classics. The program’s goal is to engage children in learning during school breaks so they are less likely to regress in their ability to read or retain knowledge.

This year’s fairs doubled as parties with arts and crafts, read-aloud events, raffle prizes and games.

 Homeport's Jill Anderson at Trabue Crossing Book Fair

 Homeport's Jill Anderson at Trabue Crossing Book Fair

At Marsh Run’s Book Fair, the Columbus Metropolitan Library initiated its Kindergarten Readiness class for Homeport’s Marsh Run, Raspberry Glen and Kimberly Meadows communities.

The award winning Bright Ideas Book Bank program, known simply as “Book Bank,” has enjoyed community and business support since its outset. In 2014 Homeport received the Literacy Leader Award from the Ohio Educational Library Media Association and a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of School Librarians.

(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.)