The Book Bridge of Grayslake, Il just completed their first big fundraiser on Saturday. They held a 24 hour bike-a-thon at Amphibian Multisport, located in Libertyville, on Friday and Saturday.
The Book Bridge is a Lake County literacy support program for at-risk and underserved children. They serve youth up to age 18 who are in economical, physical, emotional or behavioral crisis situations. These children have little or no access to books of their own and mostly live in residential, safe houses, homeless shelters and similar crisis care programs. Many are Wards of the State and the books given to them become one of their few personal possessions. All of the children flourish from the emotional and academic benefits that come from access to books of their interest and reading abilities.
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Bringing their own bikes to ride were 7 teams with a total of 37 riders that participated. Ken Kohlman rode his bike for the Book Bridge Bikers Team. When asked why he was riding, Ken said, "I came out to ride because I like that they provide a service to help keep literacy high in Lake County. It was also a great opportunity to ride at a 24 hour event and riding for a good cause challenged and motivated us to keep going."
Marty Taylor of Amphibian Multisport provided the facility to host the event. "Marty was wonderful," said Pam Weiss, founder of the Book Bridge. "He has been great letting us in and supporting us all the way. With his help we raised over $10,500! All of the books given to the children are theirs to keep and we rely on donations from the community to keep our effort going. This money will buy a lot of books."
Funds raised will also keep the volunteer center open to citizens, students, and service groups that want to help Lake County children in crisis through the love of reading. The center is also a place for at-risk and under-served youth to participate in reading activities, enjoy the benefits of volunteering and giving back and, it's where "book coaches" volunteer to help the children select titles based on their interests and reading abilities.
These funds will also allow the Book Bridge to purchase books not in stock for Wish Lists. This popular program provides children with up to 12 books annually that they may keep or exchange at a later time. The opportunity to exchange keeps their personal libraries interesting and age appropriate, and encourages them to try new authors and genres. The Book Bridge is the only literacy support program serving youth up to age 18. The joy of reading can spark or re-ignite at any age and children need access to books during all academic years, but that's not enough. The Book Bridge volunteers motivate children to read, and to read more often, by providing them with titles and topics they ask for on their Wish Lists. Our unique individualized approach to quality-over-quantity somewhat slows the book giving process, but it guarantees the youth's motivation to read the 12 books they receive from us every year. It's an efficient use of resources.
The Book Bridge runs four successful programs that serve approximately 1,500 Lake County youth annually who are in emotional, economical or physical crisis situation. Reading is a healthy outlet to their stress, and consistent access to books is the gap we bridge for them. Our volunteer center is located at 450 Barron Blvd in Grayslake. Please visit our website http://www.thebookbridge.com for more information or call (847) 543-5845.