Local News | Daily Chronicle

DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project marks latest completion

The DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project local volunteers working on building bookcases

SYCAMORE - The DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project recently finished its most recent bookcase for children to promote childhood literacy.

According to a news release, book donations are accepted throughout the year at the DeKalb County Housing Authority, 310 N. Sixth St., DeKalb.

Completed bookcases created by the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project, lined up and ready for delivery.

The DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project was created by former DeKalb mayor and current Bookcase Project Chairman John Rey.

Rey heard about the bookcase project in another state and wanted to bring the idea close to home, according to a news release.

Volunteers gather together every spring to create 50 bookcases for 50 children, each complete with an engraved metal nameplate of the child’s name. The project promotes literacy by building handmade bookcases, filling them with books, and donating them to preschool-age children.

The bookcases are gifted to children through a partnership with Two Rivers Head Start in Sycamore, which provides childcare and services for youth up to five years old. The DeKalb County Community Foundation granted $1,292 to the bookcase project in 2022. The DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project is managed by local volunteers.

(Left to right): Bookcase Project Steering Committee member Mark Mattson Teri Spartz, and John Rey standing next to a completed bookcase

The funding for the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project is made possible with funding through the Wiegele Family Early Childhood Literacy Fund at the Community Foundation. The Wiegele Family Early Childhood Literacy Fund supports early childhood literacy through organizations that provide direct outreach services to underserved populations of young children in DeKalb County. The Fund has provided over $10,000 in support to several organizations focused on literacy. Organizations include the DeKalb and Sycamore Public Libraries, the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic, Neighbors’ House, Kishwaukee Family YMCA, and more.

To donate to any DeKalb County Community Foundation fund, including the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project, donate online at dekalbccf.org/donate, or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178. For questions or additional information on early care and education efforts, contact Teri Spartz at 815-748-5383 or t.spartz@dekalbccf.org.

For more information about the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project, contact John Rey at 815-762-9660 or visit the project’s Facebook Page.