The annual BOOKS FOR KIDS campaign held its official kickoff earlier today at the Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, which is a beneficiary of BOOKS FOR KIDS.  The ceremony, attended by youngsters who attend Buffalo Hearing & Speech, highlighted the importance of donating books so all local children can enjoy the gift of reading.

What started as a cooperative effort in 1995 by The Buffalo News, Buffalo State College and Project Flight co-founders Dr. Geraldine Bard and Dr. Elizabeth Cappella, the BOOKS FOR KIDS community campaign has grown to include WGRZ TV Channel 2, Wegmans and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System.  This year the drive runs through April 30, 2017.

“BOOKS FOR KIDS is amazing – 23 years of ensuring every child has a book of his or her own.  A love of reading is one of the keys to a great future.  The Buffalo News is thrilled to help make that happen,” said Mike Connelly, executive editor of The Buffalo News.

“We know that literacy matters from day one and lays the foundation for a child’s success in school and in life.  BOOKS FOR KIDS has provided millions of books for children in need, and Wegmans is proud to help support this program that makes it easy for our shoppers to give,” said Michele Mehaffy, Buffalo consumer affairs manager for Wegmans Food Markets.

“Our 37 Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries love being a part of this initiative, which has achieved greatness by getting 2.5 million donated books into the hands of local children,” said Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski.

Additional speakers were Project Flight co-founder Dr. Geraldine Bard; Joseph J. Cozzo, President/CEO & Chairman of the Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center and Melissa Holmes, Co-Anchor, WGRZ TV Channel 2 Daybreak News.

 

A community book drive takes place on Friday, April 21st at Wegmans, 5275 Sheridan Dr., Williamsville, beginning at 6:00 a.m. with live broadcast remotes on Channel 2’s Daybreak program.  From 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. the Library on Wheels Bookmobile will be open and storytelling for children takes place inside the store at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 

Donations to purchase books for children with special needs are also welcome and will be used to buy Braille, large-print and other specialized books.

Make checks payable to:  BOOKS FOR KIDS / Project Flight

Mail to:  Project Flight BOOKS FOR KIDS c/o Donations

7954 Transit Road

PMB 205

Buffalo, New York 14221

 

Community donation locations accepting books this month are:

 

All Wegmans in Erie & Niagara counties

All Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries

The Buffalo News, corner of Washington and Scott streets, downtown Buffalo

All Dipson Theaters

All WNY Mattress Firm locations

All Raymour & Flanigan locations

Tom’s Restaurant, 3221 Sheridan Drive, Amherst

 

For more information visit: BuffaloNews.com/booksforkids or call 716-858-8608.