Bookcase Project collecting books for 10th year

The DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project is collecting books for its 10th year of distributing personal libraries to children in the community.

The project promotes literacy by providing 50 solid oak bookcases as starter libraries for children enrolled in the Two Rivers Head Start program.

Donations of gently used or new books for children ages 3 to 5 are being collected for each of the 50 bookcase libraries. Books can be dropped off until mid-March at the DeKalb County Housing Authority, 310 N. Sixth St. in DeKalb.

Construction of the bookcases was finished last week. A personalized brass nameplate and books will be added to each bookcase.

Instead of holding an award ceremony in the spring for the recipient children and their families, the bookcases and books will be delivered to Two Rivers, where families can pick them up.

“This year has been rather unusual with COVID restrictions,” said John Rey, chairperson of the steering committee. “We weren’t able to have our award ceremony last year or this year, and we didn’t have our banquet, which helps us fundraise.”

In lieu of the fundraising literacy banquet, donations were made by Bookcase Club members and supporters of the project. Other supporters include Barnes and Noble in Geneva, the DeKalb Public Library, First United Methodist Church in DeKalb and local daycare centers.

“The goal of the project is to instill a lifelong love of reading in the children, helping them build early educational success and getting them ready for kindergarten,” Rey said.

For more information about the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project, visit the project’s Facebook page.

Katrina J.E. Milton

Award-winning reporter and photographer for Shaw Media publications, including The Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek newspapers in DeKalb County, Illinois, since 2012.