April 2012 Newsletter

654,747 books distributed to date!

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Making a Difference for 40,000 Children!
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Snapshot of the Future

Picture this: It's the first day of school for a group of six-year-old children. Fifteen out of 20 children have never seen a book before in their lives. They don't know their letters and numbers, or the difference between them. Through no fault of their own, they arrive to the first day of school four years behind and struggle over the coming years to catch up.

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Photos of Scammon Elementary Students by Eileen Ryan

Because there are so many children (about 75% in many at-risk communities) entering school so far behind in reading, the school has to devote more time to reading instruction. Children get pulled out of class every day to work on reading, and the school begins to peel away the "fun" things - music, art, drama, science, gym class. Before long, school becomes nothing more than a reading and math drill for every child, regardless of his or her ability, because reading and math proficiency are non-negotiables. As a result, some kids become frustrated and check out, never to return, never to love learning.


Flash forward 10 years. Bernie's Book Bank is now serving every at-risk infant, toddler and child up to 12 years of age in greater Chicago. Each child receives 12 books per year from us. Before beginning kindergarten, each child receives 60 books from Bernie's Book Bank. 
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Since children are now surrounded by books from birth, they are more likely to arrive at school "reading ready." The school no longer has to devote significant time, money and resources to reading intervention, and they begin adding back in the fun things that create our future's artists, musicians, scientists and leaders. The teachers and administrators are happier because they can offer a well-rounded, successful curriculum. And children are happier and more successful because they're not frustrated and struggling anymore. Now, school is more than just a drill. It's a place to celebrate learning at all levels.


That's the vision that Bernie's Book Bank has for our future. We're delivering on that promise today with more than 40,000 children. But there are 200,000+ more at-risk children who need our help. 


The ability to read is a non-negotiable in any successful educational journey. And you can't learn to read without access to books. It's that simple. The research is clear. With your help, we'll get there.

In This Issue
Snapshot of the Future
Rock the Bank Fundraiser!
A Message from Brian
Our Mission  


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


We plan to be distributing 1 MILLION books per year by 2013.


Book Collections Explode!
From April through the middle of May, Bernie's Book Bank is facilitating 57 book drives in local schools and businesses!
We are continually amazed by what a little goal setting and teamwork can do, and we are so appreciative of the work of all of our Book Collection Partners! 
Click here to see a map of all of our book collection partners. They're everywhere!
Be Our BFF!

Friends window clingWith a donation of $100 or more, you can become a Friend of Bernie's Book Bank. Friends are invited to special events throughout the year and receive a Bernie's Book Bank window-cling. Join today and become our BFF (Bernie's Friend Forever)! Click here for more information.


June 2012 Goal:
150 Friends = 5,000 Kids
September 2012 Goal: 
300 Friends = 10,000 Kids
December 2012 Goal: 
450 Friends = 15,000 Kids
March 2013 Goal: 
600 Friends = 20,000 Kids
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Awareness = Success!

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Get Ready to Rock the Bank on Saturday, June 16 from 6 pm to Midnight!

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On Saturday, June 16, Bernie's Book Bank will look and sound more like Bookstock than a Book Bank as we host our 2nd annual Rock the Bank fundraiser from 6 pm - Midnight! 


This musical showcase of local artists will include three great bands, fabulous food and drinks, and a fantastic concert experience under a big tent.You won't want to miss it!


Rock the Bank is our largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds go toward serving the 40,000 children currently in our program, and expanding our program to include more children.


Tickets are on sale now! 

$50 in advance, $75 in June.


VIP tickets are also available for more discerning concert attendees. VIP tickets include special seating, personal bottle service, backstage passes, Rock Star parking, and up to eight Rock the Bank 2012 concert t-shirts. Click here to purchase tickets and for details about the day's events, the musicians, and Limited Edition Rock the Bank t-shirts.


Special thanks to our Rock the Bank Major Sponsors: Wintrust Community Banks, Lake Forest Pediatric Dentistry, Indeck Power Equipment Company, Copia Capital and the Chicago Bears.


Thanks to all of our sponsors and donors: GEM Realty Capital, Zebra Technologies, United Services Disaster Recovery and Clean-up, EJ Graphics, Fast Signs of Gurnee, Paul Davis Restoration, Jack's Tents, Bob Chinn's Crab House, Modern Event Rental, Classic Toyota Scion Kia, MillerCoors, Glunz Family Winery, Wirtz Distributors, Sports 11, Long Grove Cafe, Sunset Foods, Porta Jane, Barnes & Noble, Popcorn Factory, Hel's Kitchen, Morning Glory Flower Shops, Whole Foods.

Calling all ROCKERS! Buy your tickets today!

Rock the Bank is right around the corner on June 16th and we are so excited about all the work that has been done by our fabulous committee. This is an event that you will not want to miss and I personally guarantee a great time.  The best part is... by attending Rock the Bank, YOU will enable Bernie's Book Bank to serve more than 40,000 at-risk children right here in Chicagoland and help us expand the scope of our impact.


Our goal is to attract 1,000 partygoers and raise a minimum of $50,000!  If achieved, Rock the Bank 2012 will be a major needle-moving moment for Bernie's Book Bank.


Thank you for all your continued support, and let's keep the bank rockin'!



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