|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, October 24, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106|
Barnes & Noble Bookstores To “Spread The Word” This Weekend
MALDEN - Education officials urged families with extra books at home to participate in this weekend’s Spread the Word event at 10 area Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Stores in Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Burlington, Chestnut Hill, Framingham, Peabody, the Prudential Center, Saugus and Walpole will participate in the collection on Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last year the bookstore chain collected 48,000 books in one day for Spread the Word, and this year their goal is to reach 60,000.
“Students need to read well to be successful in school, and it’s clear that children who own books and read them at home are the ones who excel,” said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll.
The program was initiated in 1995 by then Lt. Governor Paul Cellucci and his wife Jan, and is now supported by Gov. Jane Swift. It’s aim is to give books from children who have outgrown them or no longer need them to children with few books – if any – at home.
To date, more than 800,000 new and recycled books have been collected through the program, and distributed to more than 160,000 children.
“I have traveled to schools across Massachusetts handing out books as part of the Spread the Word program. It is extremely rewarding to see the children's joy and excitement when they receive these books,” said Governor Jane Swift. “For these children, bringing books home with them to read over and over again with parents and siblings truly makes a difference in their lives.”
This year the books collected will be given out to students in Boston, Chelsea, Brockton, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.
The success Spread the Word has been recognized nationally as one of only eight recipients of the Council of State Governments' 2000 Innovations Award. Other states, including Colorado, New Jersey, Nevada, and Texas have expressed interest in starting up a Spread the Word Program in their state.
Book donations will be accepted at all participating stores between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stores in Downtown Crossing, Brookline, and Chestnut Hill are accepting donations, but not hosting events.