School Children in New Orleans Ring in Holidays with Mammoth Book Donation
150,000 Books and Plush Toys Donated by Barnes & Noble Through Literacy Organization Reader to Reader
Total Reader To Reader Book Donations to New Orleans Surpass 1.4 Million Since Hurricane Katrina
NEW ORLEANS, LA (December 12, 2009) – The school children of New Orleans have a special reason to celebrate this holiday season as they go home for vacation break with 150,000 books and plush toys donated by Barnes & Noble through the nonprofit literacy organization, Reader to Reader.
Over the past three years, Amherst, Massachusetts-based Reader to Reader has donated some 1.4 million books to schools in New Orleans and Louisiana to help rebuild resources lost in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
To welcome children back to school this past fall Reader to Reader donated books by award-winning children’s author Mo Willems to every first and second grade student in the Recovery School District of New Orleans.
This holiday season Reader to Reader is pleased to work with Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookseller, to make a truly mammoth book donation. Two 18-wheel tractor trailers are delivering 48 pallets containing 150,000 books and plush toys to the Recovery School District of New Orleans. The shipment will arrive on Monday, December 14, 2009.
“This is the single biggest donation of new books and toys that we have ever made in one shipment,” says Reader to Reader founder and executive director, David Mazor. “Barnes & Nobles' extraordinary generosity will touch the hearts of many thousands of children. The work rebuilding resources lost from Hurricane Katrina is far from over, and we want to thank Barnes & Noble for recognizing the great need that still exists in New Orleans.”
“You may remember Reader to Reader from the Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie Book Project… well, they are back with a mission,” notes Troy Peloquin of the Recovery School District of New Orleans. "They are teaming up with Barnes & Noble to truck in two 18 wheelers, that’s 48 pallets, yes 150,000 books. Guess what I’m doing next week? Please raise a glass this season for Reader to Reader and Barnes & Noble. You make my job easy and challenging, heart warming and back breaking. For this, I thank you. You are righteous.”
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is very excited to help distribute these books to schools in time for them to be handed them out to students as festive gifts before break.
Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, who along with his wife, Louise, founded Project Home Again (PHA) shortly after Hurricane Katrina, has continued to be very active in helping New Orleans rebuild. In October, the Riggios, PHA families, elected officials, representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority were on hand as PHA broke ground for 12 more homes in the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans. To date, PHA has built a total of 36 new homes with an additional 8 more homes under construction.
About Reader to Reader
Based on the campus of Amherst College in Amherst, MA, Reader to Reader, Inc. www.readertoreader.org is a non-profit organization that distributes books to schools and libraries in need. They have donated 2.8 million books to schools and libraries in need across the United States, and 1.4 million books to schools and libraries in New Orleans rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina.