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updated: 6/18/2014 1:51 PM

Dist. 59 employee leads book drive to help students

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  • Cindy Czarnik sorts books donated to the Robert Frost School Book Drive.

    Cindy Czarnik sorts books donated to the Robert Frost School Book Drive.
    Courtesy District 59

Submitted by District 59

Cindy Czarnik, second-grade teacher assistant at Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59's Robert Frost School in Mount Prospect, wanted to insure Frost second grade students had access to summer reading materials. Robert Frost School's population is more than 65 percent low-income and some of the students live in unincorporated Elk Grove Township and have limited access to a public library.

Czarnik decided to help with a book drive that was started by the Frost Student Resource Team to collect books for students to read over the summer when they could not access the school's library. Her first contact was through Elmhurst eMoms on Facebook. Having formerly lived in Elmhurst, she was already a member of the group. She was quite surprised with the wonderful response she got. She decided to join the eMoms group of Schaumburg, her current home. Again, the response was overwhelming.

Over several weeks, Czarnik picked up donations from across Elmhurst and Schaumburg. Through Facebook, people have shared her story and have contacted her with offers of help, enabling her to collect more than 300 books, more than enough to give two books to each second-grade student and at least one book to each student at Robert Frost School who does not have access to a public library.

To assist with students' summer reading, Robert Frost School is holding summer learning nights on the school's lawn every Tuesday evening through Aug. 12.

Robert Frost teachers Michelle Nero, Chris Rayner, Cynthia Mendivil, Liz Loverde and Karen Styzinski will facilitate the summer program. Students can read, write a story or enjoy math games and can also swap books they received from the book drive.