July 2014 Newsletter
                        2,637,354 books distributed since December 2009!


Please welcome Scott Kulefsky, our new Processing & Distribution Manager!  We're so excited to have him on the Bernie's Book Bank team!


After spending most of his career as a warehouse manager in the automotive parts industry, Scott knew it was time for a change, and set off to find a new experience that allowed him to use his skills and talents to make a difference in his community.  


As the new Processing & Distribution Manager, Scott will play an integral role in making sure the books donated to Bernie's Book Bank find their way into the eager hands of curious children quickly and sustainably!  


As a parent, Scott has always understood and appreciated the value of reading not only as a learning and development tool, but also as a shared experience for parents and their children to spend quality time together.


On his first day, Scott was part of an event that distributed over 1600 books to 140 children.  "All it took was one event, and I was hooked," Scott says.  "The expressions of pure joy on their faces was a great reminder that nothing is more important than our children."

In This Issue
Thank You From A Child
Summer of Service Camp
Half Price Books
Summer Distributions
First Bank of Highland Park
A Message From Brian
Our Mission

Bernie's Book Bank collects, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children's books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children throughout Chicagoland.


We have distributed more than 2.6 MILLION books since December 2009 and now serve more than 90,000 at-risk children annually.

Our Goal
To collect, process and distribute 4 MILLION books per year, serving all 300,000 at-risk children in the Chicagoland area with 12 quality books per year by 2016.
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little girl

Your donation today makes quality book ownership a reality for at-risk children! 

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Bernie's Book Bank (2013 Philanthropy Awards)
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BIG THANK YOU to Half Price Books!
We are very proud to announce a new partnership with Half Price Books!  With locations all around Chicagoland, we will be accepting ongoing book donations from many of their local stores. They have already donated thousands of quality new and used books to Bernie's Book Bank.

This is a big strategic step towards our goal to be distributing 4 MILLION books per year. Dawn Watrous, Bernie's Book Bank Collections Manager says,

"We feel privileged to have created this partnership.  Their past and ongoing donations will help us to reach and sustain our goal of serving all 300,000 at-risk children in Chicagoland with 12 books a year.  Thank you Half Price Books!"


Many people ask us how Bernie's Book Bank distributes books to at-risk children when school is out for the summer!  The truth is we are very busy all summer long, distributing books thru special programs, camps and local festivals in at-risk communities.


One of the organizations that we work with in the summer is Beacon Place.

Located in Waukegan, this organization works to help families that qualify for free and reduced lunches at school throughout the year. When summer break starts, meals at school end and hunger begins for many children living in poverty.  Throughout the summer, Beacon Place's Lunch Bunch program offers children lunch and day camp activities two days per week at the Beacon Place Community Center.


We have already visited Beacon Place twice this summer to provide books to the children they serve.  It's a great partnership - feeding bodies and minds!

Click here to learn more about BEACON PLACE. 


In June, we distributed thousands of books at the �Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving! festival held by the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition.  Radio Disney was on hand to add to the celebration and children left with a bag of 12 quality books each.

little girl reading


This weekend, we will attend The Taste of WVON on the south side of Chicago, where upwards of 10,000 people will attend.   Bernie's Book Bank Volunteers will be on hand to help children select books to take home and encourage children to read all summer long to help prevent "summer slide."


Summer slide is the term many educators and policymakers use to describe what happens to children when they are not focused on educational activities for the three months of summer.


Literacy experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often "slide" backward and start the school year off having to "catch up."


A problem that all children face, it is especially difficult for children who don't have access to books to prevent summer slide.  We are honored to be able to help get books to children who need them - ALL YEAR ROUND!

We are so grateful to First Bank of Highland Park, who volunteered in our processing center with a great group of employees, interns and students from College Bound Opportunities, another local nonprofit they support.  

What a terrific example of partnerships that impact the entire community in positive ways!  First Bank of Highland Park also brought with them a very generous donation and new friends from Chicago Charity Challenge.  Many, many thanks!

A Message from Brian

Since our beginning, I have always seen Bernie's Book Bank as a large, diverse family of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, united by one mission - to significantly increase quality books ownership among at-risk children.


On July 16, I am proud to say that the Floriani Family added another member to the ever-growing family at Bernie's Book Bank.  I became the proud father of Ziggy Ells Floriani!


Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, love and support.

Ziggy and mother Jillian are doing very well.


The birth of Ziggy, my now second child, is just another reminder to me of how blessed we all are and only heightens my commitment to our mission and goals!


Please help me celebrate Ziggy's birthday by forwarding this newsletter on to all of your friends.


From a proud father,

Brian's signature  

Founder & Executive Director
847-780-READ (7323)