SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) JFCS of the Suncoast is kicking off its seventh annual “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” book donation drive on Feb. 1 to spread the joy of reading to children.

Each year, JFCS collects and distributes nearly 4,000 books to promote literacy among local children in pre-k through Grade 5, with special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books are also given to infants and toddlers, as well as older children in middle and high school.

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“Owning and sharing a book is a wonderful experience for a child, and we believe literacy is a skill best learned early in life, and a skill set that is the backbone of other learning and life experiences,” said Sheila Birnbaum, a JFCS volunteer and founder of the “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” campaign.

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The book drive runs from Feb. 1 – March 31, 2022. Community members can participate by:

  • Delivering or shipping new books for infants through teenagers directly to our office at 2688 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237.
  • Encouraging organizations, neighborhoods, social clubs, businesses, friends, and other groups to organize a book collection among their members. A designated person can collect the books and deliver them to JFCS’ administrative building on Fruitville.
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Donated books will be distributed to JFCS clients who participate in a variety of programs, including Camp Mariposa, IGNITE/REACH, Veterans Services, Homeless Prevention, Youth Services and more. Books will also go to local Title I schools, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, summer reading programs and other organizations such as the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee and Sarasota counties and Embracing Our Differences.