For this week’s #MeetMonday…. Meet Brian, the founder of Bernie’s Book Bank!
In 2005, Brian Floriani was a lead instructor for Golf Digest Schools in Lake Tahoe and West Palm Beach. The sudden death of his father, Bernie, inspired him to do something different with his life. He spent the next few years working as a reading paraprofessional, but then decided he wanted to help bring books to children on a larger scale.
He began to understand what his father had known — that reading is the single most important skill a child needs in order to contribute and function competently within our society. Furthermore, he realized that all of these children probably could have been “reading ready” if they had been provided access to books at home before entering Kindergarten.
In December 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank was founded in Brian’s garage, where he began collecting and redistributing books to at-risk children. In its first 12 months, Bernie’s Book Bank collected, processed and distributed 140,000 children’s books. In its second year, Bernie’s Book Bank expanded its operation and reach, and distributed 350,000 books to more than 35,000 children.
Now, eight years later, Bernie’s Book Bank is on track to distribute their 10 millionth book, and continues to help children in need all over the Chicago area – all thanks to Brian.