Bill is an educator, lifelong learner and a proud Bernie’s Book Bank volunteer.
His career in education spans more than 15 years including five years as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and 12 years at Lake Forest Academy. As a high school teacher at CPS, Bill saw firsthand the dire need for books and other essential educational resources.
“At CPS I taught sophomore English and all four of my classes had to share the same set of textbooks, which meant the books could never go home,” he shared. “I couldn’t make more than 50 photocopies a semester. Children couldn’t afford to buy their own pencils. A large percentage of the children would not eat from the time they left school to the time they came back to school because they would receive federally funded breakfast and lunch.”
The first time Bill was introduced to Bernie’s Book Bank was during a school-wide day of service when he brought his Lake Forest Academy students to volunteer in the processing center. He immediately recognized how Bernie’s Book Bank would enable him, upon retirement, to continue his goal to help children become lifelong readers.
“When Bernie’s Book Bank makes books available to children, they will read them and they will have them at home forever,” Bill noted.
Since he retired from teaching in 2018, Bill joined the 50 Hour Club and has become a familiar face at Bernie’s Book Bank. He comes once or twice each week and has completed more than 115 hours of volunteer work.
When asked about his experience at Bernie’s Book Bank, Bill shared why he keeps coming back to volunteer week after week.
“Everybody is amazingly friendly; they make it a nice place to spend time and most days when I come in, they offer me a choice of what to do,” he expressed. “I usually come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays; there are a couple other people I know, and we have a nice conversation while we’re working.”
Bill believes that reading is one of the major foundational components of learning and thinks everyone should adopt this mission.
“I’m still surprised that I meet so many people who don’t know about Bernie’s Book Bank,” he confessed. “I try and tell them about the amazing work Bernie’s Book Bank is doing and how the results of the work are proven already in academic research. If you can get books into the hands of children, they will read.”
Would you like to join Bill and many others who have become a part of the Bernie’s Book Bank family? Sign up to volunteer for one of our 18 weekly sessions!