Wheatlands School Triples Goal for Bernie's Book Bank

AURORA, IL - March 4, 2013 - The Wheatlands Elementary recently concluded their School Book Drive for Bernie's Book Bank, a non-profit that collects, processes and redistributes quality children's books to at-risk children all over Chicagoland.

The book drive was facilitated by The Wheatland's social worker, Lori Zielke. She worked with Jessie Urban, Director of Operations at Bernie's Book Bank to set a school goal of 3,000 books. But students and families really got into the spirit of helping others and collected a total of 9,238 books, more than tripling their original goal!

"Bernie's Book Bank is an incredibly inspiring organization. We were both proud and honored to donate books that we knew were going to a great cause. Bernie's Book Bank helped The Wheatlands students realize how important something we may take for granted is to other children that are not as fortunate," said Lori Zielke, Social Worker and book drive facilitator at The Wheatlands Elementary.

Today, the student body and faculty celebrated with an all-school assembly featuring professional storyteller Tom Clark and the Executive Director of Bernie's Book Bank, Brian Floriani. Floriani had made a promise to the students at The Wheatland that if they surpassed their goal, he would perform the famous breakdancing move, "The Worm," and he did!

Bernie's Book Bank collects, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children's books to at-risk children all over Chicago and its suburbs with the intention of creating book owners and readers for a lifetime. Founded in December 2009, Bernie's Book Bank has distributed more than 1 MILLION books to 60,000 Chicago-area children through schools and other organizations that serve large populations of at-risk children. They will distribute 1 MILLION more in 2013!

Books collected for Bernie's Book Bank are sorted according to reading level, stickered with a Bernie's Book Bank sticker and delivered to at-risk children in Chicago and its suburbs within seven days. Every child served receives at least 12 books per year. Because of the support of volunteers, the cost to collect, process and deliver books is only 25 cents per book.

Bernie's Book Bank relies heavily on donations collected through school, corporate and community group book drives. To set up a drive, contact Jessie Urban at

For more information, visit or call 847-780-READ (7323).

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