Integrating Literacy

‘Book Bank’ Program Growing To Year Round Impact

From classics to the humorous, books are becoming a year round staple in Homeport programs.

Since 2013 Homeport has been conducting book drives to help children retain knowledge and learning skills during school breaks. 

Now the nationally recognized “Bright Ideas Book Bank” program has received not one but three significant boosts.

In April, it was awarded 500 new and nearly new books from United Way of Central Ohio. 

Educational publisher Highlights for Children gave three carloads of novels, activity books, craft books, and the highly popular Puzzle Mania and Hidden Pictures.

Selections coming soon to children in Homeport

Selections coming soon to children in Homeport

And national book chain giant Half Price Books, Records and Magazines invited Homeport to its Hilliard warehouse for its annual “Half Pint Library” program benefitting local non-profits and those they serve.

Homeport's Book Bank program in 2014 received the Literacy Leader Award from the Ohio Educational Library Media Association. It also was awarded a “Certificate of Commendation” from the American Association of School Librarians.

Thousands of books, mostly new, have been provided to children, since the program began. 

In United Way’s case, Homeport received books because of the Book Bank program’s commitment to providing resources that keep kids reading and learning year-round, said Kathryn Wagonrod, United Way’s Assistant Volunteer Engagement Manager.

In its two year “For the Love of Reading” initiative, United Way has provided over 5,000 books to school and after school programs, Wagonrod said.

In both years, Homeport was chosen for an outlay of the books – which is a good thing, said Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement for Homeport.

“Thanks to the support of United Way, and the other companies, children living in Homeport communities will now have access to even more new books and reading materials,” Wade said.

Here are a few examples:

  • Backpacks given out at back to school rallies will not only have school supplies but magazines and puzzle books.
  • At Homeport’s free produce markets, children of attendees will be able to choose picture books and novels.
  • Bookshelves at each of Homeport’s summer camp locations will be upgraded with new titles.

 “The promotion of literacy is being integrated throughout our programming,” Wade said.

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