Thousands of children in and around the Chicagoland area have been gifted with the power of literacy with the help of Niles Township and its surrounding North Shore communities.

More than 15,000 books were collected during the Books for All Children initiative which first launched July 13 and lasted through Aug. 3, according to Public Relations Manager Jack Macholl. The program, in partnership with Bernie’s Book Bank—an organization that encourages book ownership to low-income children—began after Township Supervisor Marilyn Glazer became involved with the nonprofit through her temple.

“[Glazer] was so impressed that she wanted to be involved,” Macholl said, adding that later she presented a proposal to the board and township that led to the collaboration.

Although the initial 20,000 book goal was not met, help from park districts located in Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie, Lincolnwood and Glenview, along with the Glenview Youth Services, proved the saying that “many hands make light work.”

Read more about this successful book drive in the Chicago Tribunes article here.