RAPID CITY, S.D. — This year’s Readiatrics Book Drive came to a conclusion today with the donation of about 5,000 books from various businesses who hosted the book drive bins, including the RC Public Library, Dahl Arts Center, Books a Million, Fire Station #1, The Cave Collective and all of the Black Hills Federal Credit Union locations.
Established in 2001 by Darla Drew, the drive collects approximately 3,000 to 5,000 books each year.
To date, Readiatrics has collected and redistributed over 170,000 books to children in need to build literacy in the home.
Darla Drew, the Readiatrics Director, says, “I think it’s just important that kids get that time to either read to each other or have a relative read to them in their home; there is nothing quite as bonding as that or a good example of how to really build literacy than to read with one of your relatives.”
This year most of the collected books will go to children receiving services at the South Dakota Department of Health with five locations in western South Dakota.
The SD Department of Health has partnered with Readiatrics for the last eight years to give books to children receiving vaccines at the facility as well as for nurses to deliver to families during home visits.
Karrie Churchill, the Home Visiting Program Manager with the SD Dept. of Health, says, “The books have a wide distribution, the nurses who deliver the books with the services that they provide, that helps the nurses out because that gives them something to help build that connection with families and give them something to talk about so it really means a lot to have that bonding over a book. Families love that; kids love that.”
There is also a June donation planned for another local parent organization.
Darla says $600.00 donated from Black Hills Federal Credit Union will be used to purchase books with various ethnicity and culture to reach children of all backgrounds.
To inquire about making a donation, call Darla Drew at 605-341-5940 or for more information on the drive visit readiatrics.com