COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is partnering with Columbus City Schools (CCS) and Panera Bread to collect new and gently used kids’ books for the Books for Breakfast program. The goal of the program is to provide K-5 CCS students books to read both at school and at home at the breakfast table. Donated books will be available for students to read if they eat breakfast at school. Each day, approximately 25,000 CCS students take advantage of the district’s free breakfast program.
Reading at breakfast offers young people a way to engage their minds first thing in the morning so they are ready to learn by the time they reach their first class at school.
Collection boxes can be found at CML locations beginning Monday, Aug. 1. Customers can ask a staff member for more information. Monetary donations can be made at any Columbus area Panera Bread location.
The collection period will end on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Then, on Wednesday, Aug. 31, CML, CCS and Panera Bread will hold a special collection event at the German Village Panera Bread at 684 S. High St. Customers who drive by and drop off new or gently used kids’ books between 7 a.m.-noon will receive a coupon for one free breakfast entree at Panera Bread (includes any breakfast sandwich, baked egg soufflé or oatmeal).
Last year, CML collected approximately 8,000 kids’ books in support of what was then known as Books on the Bus, an initiative to collect books for kids to read on CCS school buses. This year, the effort has a new goal to collect books for kids to read at school and to take home with them.
Columbus City Schools has seen a dramatic turnaround in reading scores and literacy skills for children in the community since the inception of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. They’ve gone from a 42% passage rate to a more than 92% passage rate on the test. Books for Breakfast will help CCS reach closer to 100% and put books in the hands of every student in every zip code of Columbus
CCS’s success has come in large part because the central Ohio community has rallied around the importance of reading and encouraging young people to read more often by making books available in more places – not just in the classroom.
Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.
CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.