February 2012 Newsletter

561,399 books distributed to date!

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It's A Slam Dunk! 
The Chicago Bulls Partner with Bernie's Book Bank!

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We are thrilled to announce that the Chicago Bulls have asked Bernie's Book Bank to assist in the collection of books at the Bulls vs. Utah Jazz game on Saturday, March 10!


The Chicago Bulls are long-time supporters of NBA league-wide initiative Read To Achieve, supported locally by Rush University Medical Center. Read to Achieve's main goal is to inspire literacy by encouraging families and adults to read regularly with young children. Bernie's Book Bank's mission of increasing book ownership of at-risk children is the perfect compliment. GO BULLS!

Every Bag of Books Brings a Smile!

"Thank you!!  Thank you!! My students have been mesmerized by their wonderful collection of books this morning. They have read their books, shared their books, traded books, admired and showed each other their books and talked and talked about their books with one another! Everything a teacher hopes for!! Thank you!! Thank you!! For providing the gift of reading to countless children!                                            Cynthia Marceau, Parkview Elementary

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Leadership, Goal Setting, Teamwork and Communication
It appears that no one is better at motivating school-age children than Bernie's Book Bank Founder and Executive Director Brian Floriani. The evidence can be seen in the more than 50,000 books that kids have collected for Bernie's Book Bank... since January!


"This was such a positive thing for our kids," says Mary Ann Roche, parent coordinator for the record-breaking book drive at Our Lady Of Perpetual Hope (OLPH) in Glenview, Ill. "Brian said we'd get as much out of this as the kids they're serving, and that's certainly true." OLPH collected an astonishing 11,357 books in two weeks, breaking the record set last spring by Glencoe Central School.  

Book collections are an essential part of what we do at Bernie's Book Bank. We believe each book collection provides us with an opportunity to teach children about goal setting, leadership, teamwork and communication, and the power of giving through service.


"Collecting books is a way for the kids to come together as a community to help another community of kids," says OLPH parent Beth Kurtzweil. "I heard them say things like, 'That was my favorite book. I didn't want to give it up, but I know it's going to someone else who will love it as much as I did.'"


School book drives begin with an all-school assembly, sponsored by Bernie's Book Bank, during which we talk to kids about the importance of owning books and reading, and explain that their books will be passed on to children who have no books of their own. We talk to them about working together to reach their goal, and how each one of them has a role to play. We also sponsor friendly competitions between classrooms; the winning kidsclassroom receives a pizza party from Bernie's Book Bank. Each assembly concludes with a performance by a professional storyteller who reinforces these messages through engaging stories.


"Our students have learned a lot about service and helping others," says Anne Skinner, coordinator for the District 67 book drive in Lake Forest. "In previous drives, we'd just send home a flyer to the parents, but the kids didn't learn anything. Bernie's Book Bank has helped change that."


A little motivation goes a long way. At the District 67 assemblies, Brian set out a challenge. If the kids reached their goal of collecting 10,000 books, he'd come back and do the worm across the gym floor. The kids exceeded that goal in the first week, and ended their five-school drive with more than 15,000 books collected. (A video of the worm is forthcoming....)


"For the kids, it wasn't about breaking a record," concludes Kurtzweil. "It was about setting a goal and reaching it." 


Contact us to schedule a book collection at your school. [email protected], or 847-780-READ.

In This Issue
Chicago Bulls Partnership!
Books Bring Smiles
School Book Drive Success
Filling the Funnels
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 1 MILLION books per year by 2013.


Save the date! 

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Want to get involved?
Bernie's Book Bank realizes that our mission is impossible without the help and dedication of many. It is our goal to insure that as a volunteer, you receive way MORE than you give. Below are some suggestions for getting involved:

Collect Children's Books at home, at work, or through any other organization. We'll supply everything you need.

Sponsor a Community Outreach Activity through your office. Meet here for lunch and an hour of volunteering with co-workers. It's fun, easy and a great team-building experience.

Have your Book Club Meeting at the warehouse. Volunteer in the warehouse for an hour or so, and then move the group to our conference room for your Book Club discussion. You are welcome to bring wine, cheese, whatever!

Donate Money to support our growth and sustainability!

Contact us at 847-780-READ 
or EMAIL us to get started!

Awareness = Success!

Introduce your friends to Bernie's Book Bank. 


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BBB Videos on You Tube
Hungry for Pancakes?

Pancake Festival!
Saturday, March 3, 7:30-2
Join us for breakfast at the Village Presbyterian Church in Northbrook on Saturday, March 3 for the 56th annual Pancake Festival. All proceeds will go to benefit scouting, the local school graduation night, and this year's signature charity, Bernie's Book Bank! 
Last year, the pancake festival served more than 700 people. This all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast begins at 7:30 and ends at 2. At 12:30, Golden Apple Award-winning teacher and professional storyteller Tom Clark will be performing. 
The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children 5-12, and free for children under 5.
Village Presbyterian Church
1300 Shermer Avenue Northbrook,Illinois
Bernie's Book Bank needs your support!

 $25 serves 25 kids
$100 serves 100 kids
$250 serves 250 kids
$500 sponsors a school!

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Become a Founding Member of
The Friends of 
Bernie's Book Bank. 
More info coming in March.

Bernie's Book Bank is off to a great start in 2012 and the future is so encouraging! We are on pace to reach our goal of distributing 600,000 books this year, and expect to expand the number of children we serve annually from 35,000 to 50,000 by the end of the year. The outpouring of support we are receiving from the Chicagoland community is truly inspiring! 


In order to continue delivering books to the children we serve, and to expand to include more children, we, as a staff, must fill three essential funnels: books, volunteers and money. I'm happy to say that our book funnel is overflowing! The inflow of quality, used books from surrounding communities increases weekly, as does the volume of new books we receive from publishers all over the country. And our volunteer funnel is overflowing as well: we continue to host more than 1,000 volunteer hours per month in our warehouse, and see new faces every day.


Because of these successes and the hard work of our staff to create and build a stellar organization, some may perceive that our money funnel is overflowing too. That, unfortunately, is not the case.


Bernie's Book Bank needs your financial support now more than ever. We need funding to pay the rent at our facility, keep the heat on for our volunteers, fuel our vehicles and keep them running safely, and purchase trucks and materials to support more book collections and distributions. In addition, we must retain our quality, dedicated staff who have gotten us this far, and hire drivers so that we can deliver more books to more children. We fully intend to be serving every at-risk child in Chicagoland within the next few years. But we can't do it without funding.


If you believe in what we're doing... if you believe that books open worlds of opportunity for children... if you believe that owning books is critical for children... I ask you to seriously consider making a financial investment in Bernie's Book Bank today. Every single dollar donated enables us to deliver another bag of books. Every single dollar donated puts a smile on a child's face.


Thanks in advance for your consideration.


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