St. Luke's University Health Network

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Childrens Book Drive

St. Luke's Conducts Children's Book Drive Now Through Mid-September

Books Used for “Reading Rocks!” Program in Partnership with Lehigh University and Families Seen by Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke's

Dr. B. Coyle

Bethlehem, PA (8/5/2011) – St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network is conducting a book drive of new and gently used preschool, elementary and middle-school books to utilize in literacy programs in the region. The book drive began August 1 and will run through Friday, September 16.

“These books are given to children who might not have any books in their home,” Bonnie Coyle, MD  said. “Having access to books on a regular basis creates a love of reading for children, which strengthens the natural love of learning and reduces the chance that they will live at the poverty level as adults.”

The books are utilized by a variety of literacy programs throughout the Network which include:

  • Reading Rocks! at Donegan Elementary and in partnership with Lehigh University Athletic Department
  • Cops N Kids
  • Reach Out and Read
  • St. Luke's Union Station Storytellers
  • Fowler Family Center at Donegan Elementary
  • The Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke's (VNA) community-based parenting programs

Proven Academic Gains from Reading

Each of the programs strives to improve the literacy rate among disadvantaged children in the community.

Prior to the implementation of the Reading Rocks! Initiative at Donegan Elementary School in Bethlehem in 2009, nearly 80 percent of students were reading at least one grade level below their current grade assignment. Two year later, students' academic gains (the most current measurements - taken in the spring of 2010 and made available this past August) show the following:

  • 44% of students in third, fourth and fifth grade improved their reading level by at least one level;
  • 68% increased their math scores by at least one level;
  • 72% of students in grades one and two increased their reading score by at least one level;
  • 80% of kindergarten students increased their reading score by at least one level; and

Students' academic gains, as measured by the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS) increased by nearly 12 points, the highest leap of any school in a two-county region.

Book Collection Bins

Book collection bins will be located at various locations throughout the St. Luke's Network for the collection of preschool, elementary and middle-school level books.

Book collection bins for public donations of children and early adolescent-level books are located at the following St. Luke's sites: