|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, October 30, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106|
More Than 20,000 Books Collected At Spread the Word Event
MALDEN - More than 20,000 books were collected at 10 participating Barnes & Noble bookstores last weekend as part of a one-day Spread the Word Program event held on Saturday, October 26th. Area families donated extra books they had at home to the Barnes & Noble stores in Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Burlington, Chestnut Hill, Framingham, Peabody, the Prudential Center, Saugus and Walpole.
The program was initiated in 1995 by then Lt. Governor Paul Cellucci and his wife Jan, and is now supported by Governor 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.
“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.
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 week the collected books will be distributed to students in Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, and New Bedford.
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.