May 2011

 Vol 1, Issue 1

BBB Horizontal logo
Connecting children needing books 
with books needing children.

New Warehouse Rocks!


In April, Bernie's Book Bank moved into a new warehouse in Lake Forest - a much bigger space that allows us to process more books for more at-risk children in Chicagoland. We're growing like crazy, bringing on more collection partners, volunteers and distribution partners. By mid-June, we will have distributed more than 270,000 books to at-risk children, creating reading lovers for a lifetime!



In this issue are highlights of the last few months' activity for Bernie's Book Bank. Because of your support, we're beginning to move the needle on children's literacy in Chicago. Please continue to support us by coming to Rock the Bank! A Bernie's Book Bank Benefit June 17. More details below. 

RSVP TODAY for Rock the Bank!  

Friday, June 17 from 6pm - 10pm at the new warehouse!

Rock the Bank logo


 Friday, June 17 from 6 - 10 pm!


Live Music by Derrick Suede Stout and 
the band Loose Connection.
Fabulous Food from Big Bowl!
Beer, wine and special Bernie-tinis! 
Tickets are only $30 in advance, $35 at the door.


All proceeds will go toward providing more books to more children in need! RSVP TODAY.  

If you have already RSVP'd or made a donation, we sincerely thank you for your support.
If you'd like to help, contact Catherine Driscoll at [email protected].  For more details, visit
The warehouse is located at 28101 N. Ballard Drive, Unit A, Lake Forest, IL 60045. For directions click here.
In This Issue
Rock the Bank! Benefit Friday, June 17!
Happy Children, Feedback from Teachers
Glencoe School Collects 10,749 Books!
Page It Forward
New Book Drop Network Partners

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Our Mission  


Bernie's Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new & gently used children's books so as to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children living throughout Chicagoland.


Our goal is to be distributing one million books per year by 2013.

"I don't think this day could get any better!"
kids with books


Each week, we are blessed with feedback from schools and partners who work with at-risk children
every day. Through their words, we hear firsthand the difference that we're making in the lives of thousands of children. Here are some recent highlights.


"I am a teacher at Little Fort Elementary. I can't thank you enough for the donation to my students. They are so thrilled. They have been looking at their books all morning. They said, 'It was like Christmas.' 'This is the best day of my life.' And one child said, 'I don't think this day could get any better!' Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!"  Heather Bruzza, Little Fort Elementary School


"I want to thank you for your donations of books to our school this year. The students in my class cherish these books and show a sincere interest in reading them. It has made the job of locating a book source for all of their homes much easier. Our recent reading scores have indicated substantial gains for most of my fourth graders and I would attribute some of that is due to the increased reading time at home using the donated books from Bernie's Book Bank. A big thumbs up to all of you!"  Carla Shepard-Beach School, Round Lake Beach, IL

Students at Glencoe Central School Collect 10,749 Books... a New Record!
In May, students at the Central School in Glencoe collected an astonishing 10,749 books in only five days! When we walked into the school, books were stacked outside of every classroom and children were running around excitedly, counting up books and searching for more. Their enthusiasm and joy were absolutely contagious!


The 8th Grade Executive Council did an amazing job of educating their classmates and creating a fun, exciting event in which all could participate. They showed what great leadership can accomplish when focused on a goal. Bernie's Book Bank quickly borrowed a parent's video camera and filmed the kids on the day of collection. Take a look by clicking here.


After the event, Bernie's Book Bank received the letter shown below from Kristin Grant, a teacher at Central School. Moments like these make the thousands of hours of work worthwhile.


Dear Brian and Catherine,

Actually, we should be thanking you! What a powerful lesson you helped our kids learn yesterday - that they can achieve a goal that seemed unreachable, that perseverance and hard work can obliterate obstacles, and that caring and generosity are contagious. Your passion, perseverance and caring makes an indelible impression on a young person. You are not just a speaker or a fundraiser, delivering carefully crafted inspiring words from a podium. Our kids saw you do the real work of helping others. You packed, hauled and heaved bins with purpose and a smile. Your short conversation with them at the end of the day Friday will stay with them forever - just a few words aimed straight at what matters.


I've taught for 30+ years, and I know when we adults hit the mark and make an impact. You did, and our kids will use your example, your encouragement and your challenge as fuel and compass as they move into high school. So thanks, for helping at-risk children throughout Chicagoland and for helping our kids understand what matters in this world. I look forward to working with you in the years to come.



Kris Grant

Central School, Glencoe 


 Page It Forward - The County's Largest Book Drive this Summer!
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This summer, Bernie's Book Bank is partnering with the United Way of Lake County and sponsoring the County's largest book drive. We hope to collect 100,000 books by September at a series of book drop-off events throughout the summer. Books will be deposited in the Bank and distributed to at-risk children. 

Harris Bank will donate one book per "like" toward our goal! "Like" Page It Forward on Facebook and help us spread the word!


Book Drop Network Expands in June!
new book drop  network logo
In June, Bernie's Book Bank is thrilled to bring on two Book Drop Network Partners who will serve as ongoing Shops in Glenview and Wilmette, and Wisma in Lake Bluff. 

We are so thankful to Morning Glory Flower Shops and Wisma for offering to be Book Drop Network Partners. Their support of our mission - to deliver more books to more at-risk children - will help us collect more books while keeping our operating expenses low. Year-round, residents can deposit their books into Bernie's Book Bank through these locations. 

Stop by and see us at kickoff events on Friday, June 24. We will be collecting books at Wisma from 10 - 12; at Morning Glory in Glenview from 10 - 12; and Morning Glory in Wilmette from 1 - 3. So if you have children's books collecting dust on your bookshelves, bring them to one of these events and we'll get them in the hands of a child who desperately needs them within seven days. Thanks again to Wisma and Morning Glory. Welcome to the BBB team!


I'm looking forward to seeing you on June 17 when I can personally share with you all the great successes that Bernie's Book Bank has achieved in its first 17 months. The success of Bernie's Book Bank relies on the generosity of people like you who make the effort to donate books you're no longer using, volunteer your time, and support our growth. Ten years from now, we'll look back proudly knowing we've made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of children. You can be a big part of that. Thanks so much for your continued support. We couldn't do this without you. 

Brian's signature
Brian Floriani
Executive Director
Bernie's Book Bank
847-780 READ (7323)