Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Virtual Drive Raises $7,000 to Buy Books for Local At-Risk Students

The West Hartford Rotary Club donated $1,000 to kick off the eighth annual Greater Hartford Holiday Book Drive, which purchases new books for local at-risk students. From left: Kyle Egress, Rotary Club president; Ronni Breiter, Children’s Reading Partners program coordinator; and Bennett Forrest of The Miale Team at Keller Williams, who chairs the drive. Courtesy photo

This year’s holiday book drive, a collaboration between Children’s Reading Partners, West Hartford Rotary, and The Miale Team at Keller Williams was a great success.


Children’s Reading Partners, the West Hartford Rotary Club, and The Miale Team at Keller Williams are pleased to announce that the 2021 Greater Hartford Virtual Holiday Book Drive raised $7,000 to purchase new books for at-risk public preschool and elementary students who participate in Children’s Reading Partner’s volunteer literacy programs across the Hartford area.

“It was an honor to continue the book drive for its eighth consecutive year,” said Bennett Forrest of The Miale Team, who chaired the drive. “Going virtual again this year allowed us to buy books wholesale and distribute them strategically – based on the needs of the individual schools, classes, and students.”

In addition to the many individuals who contributed to the book drive, members of the West Hartford Rotary Club donated more than $2,000 toward the goal. “The club is proud to support the eighth annual Children’s Reading Partners book drive,” said Rotary Club president Kyle Egress. “Education and literacy are one of Rotary’s six areas of focus.”

“During the pandemic, I keep coming back to a quote by Mason Cooley: ‘Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are,’” added Ronni Breiter, director of Children’s Reading Partners. “Thanks to the continued generosity of the community, Children’s Reading Partners can now send every child we serve on a personal journey. Each will receive the gift of a book selected just for them.”

Administered by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Children’s Reading Partners serves at-risk students in the Greater Hartford area. The program provides one-on-one mentoring services during the school year as well as through preschool readiness and summer enrichment programs. To learn more about Children’s Reading Partners, visit www.childrensreadingpartners.org or visit @love4literacy on Facebook.

Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford has been supporting and transforming the Jewish community since 1945. From educating children to caring for seniors, Federation touches every aspect of Jewish life here, in Israel and in 70 communities around the world. To learn more, please visit www.jewishhartford.org.

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