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Bernie’s Book Bank delivered over 1200 gently used and new books to District 81 schools on May 11, 2016.  Bernie’s Book Bank is a non-for-profit organization that facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among infants, toddlers, and school-age children throughout Chicagoland.  Representatives hand-delivered bags of 6 books each to District 81 students to take home.  Children in the Parents as Teachers program (PATS) through 6th grade will receive a total of 12 free books each school year to build a home library.

District 81’s commitment to literacy often prompts educators in the District to find unique opportunities to support and engage students.  This was the case with Principal of Kennedy Elementary School, Melissa Kartsimas, who read about Bernie’s Book Bank through a neighboring school district’s social media post.  The District 81 administration contacted Bernie’s Book Bank and was able to get all three schools on the distribution list.  Faculty and staff eagerly told their students that they would be receiving a surprise, and the children’s delight and gratitude for the books were evident.  The bags were filled with books across genres, and included non-fiction, chapter books, and graphic novels, to name a few.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kimberly Boryszewski, visited classrooms with Bernie’s Book Bank as they made their rounds.  “I’ll never forget the smiles on their faces and how excited the kids were when they found out these books were theirs to keep forever,” shared Boryszewski.  “It is a truly remarkable program. I’m proud that we go the extra mile in District 81 every single day on behalf of our students!”

Bernie’s Book Bank will return to District 81 in the fall and spring next school year. More information on Bernie’s Book Bank can be found at

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