The RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties, a program of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey, will be the recipient of Barnes & Noble Livingston’s annual holiday book drive. The books that are collected will benefit RSVP’s Reading Buddies program, which matches older adult volunteers with elementary school students. Volunteers are reading online with their students this year, helping to improve their reading comprehension skills as they form an intergenerational bond.
The Barnes & Noble book drive started on November 1 and goes through December 12. Customers have the opportunity to donate books to locally designated non-profit organizations. Barnes & Noble is at 112 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston.
Reading Buddies introduces the love of books and increases literacy in young children. Early literacy is linked with academic achievement, higher graduation rates, and enhanced productivity in adult life. “The holiday book drive is a favorite program of both booksellers and customers across the country,” Tracy Vidakovich, B & N’s vice president for business development, said. “Customers often purchase and donate a personal childhood favorite as a way to pass on a holiday tradition to a child in their local community.”
“Reading Buddies has continued during the covid-19 pandemic, albeit in a new remote format, Julie Cramer, RSVP’s program manager, said. “In this moment, when schools and teachers have to work harder than ever to give students an education, our volunteers are able to offer an intervention that promotes literacy and learning. We are so appreciative of Barnes & Noble’s holiday book drive, which helps us provide books to our volunteers and students to enhance their experience with the program.” The program has shown to be very effective in helping to increase literacy, reading comprehension, and vocabulary in children grades K-2.
The RSVP Center for Essex and Hudson Counties is sponsored by Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ. It is funded by AmeriCorps as part of Ameri-Corps Seniors. AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges, through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and Ameri-Corps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov. For more information, call (973) 765-9050, ext. 1738, or go to jfsmetrowest.org.