GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Brown County United Way Emerging Leaders and Imperial Supplies teamed up to give a brand-new book to every student at Howe Elementary Community School Monday morning, just in time for summer.
The 2nd Annual Summer Send-Off Book Drive encourages children to read during the summer in an effort to reduce educational regression that can occur when children are not in school and shows them the community cares about them and that they can dream big about their futures.
The purchase of the books was made possible through a financial gift from Imperial Supplies to Brown County United Way. The project was coordinated by Brown County United Way’s Emerging Leaders members.
“Imperial Supplies has a long history of supporting education in the Green Bay area. We are proud to continue this tradition in partnership with Brown County United Way. Reading is foundational to education and we are happy to provide books to the students at Howe Elementary School to help these young learners develop a passion for reading,” said Victoria Tylinski, vice president of marketing at Imperial Supplies.
“Teachers rarely get such a great opportunity as this,” said Diana Delbecchi, Green Bay Area Public School District community schools resource coordinator. “To provide our scholars with a brand-new book for summer reading would normally require our teachers to purchase them out-of-pocket. The partnership with United Way’s Emerging Leaders and Imperial Supplies makes it possible for all our scholars to finish the school year with a new book in hand and ready for summer reading!”
Teachers selected the books for the students based on each class’ interests. Many of the most popular books among the students are newer ones that feature diverse characters, settings and storylines to which the students can relate.
Research from United for Literacy shows that Howe Elementary is located in a book desert and that 90 percent of the households in the school attendance area do not have printed books. Getting access to books and other reading materials is considered difficult.
“Education is one of our pillars of success,” said Robyn Davis, Brown County United Way president and CEO. “Reading is a core component of educational success. We believe every child should have the opportunity to pick up a book, flip through its pages and see themselves as a part of the story. With even just one book, children can see their identities represented which can help them understand their value to their communities and unlock possibilities.”
The majority of the books were purchased from Lion’s Mouth Bookstore, a locally owned bookstore in downtown Green Bay.
Brown County United Way and Imperial Supplies partnered on the inaugural book drive in 2021 giving out more than 350 books to Howe’s students.