Seeking pre-loved books for school children

Originally published at Ferntree Gully News

If you had a good old-fashioned clean-out over Christmas and you have some children’s books you no longer need, there’s a way you can give them a new lease on life.

Children’s book charity 123Read2Me is seeking donations of ‘gently-loved’ books that can be repurposed and given to disadvantaged children living in poverty. They also promote the importance of literacy and reading aloud to children.

Over the last six years, this small volunteer-led team has sorted and distributed over 500,000 books to local schools throughout the Eastern Suburbs. Volunteers from the Lions Club of Rowville have also helped to manage the donation bins. However, over the course of the pandemic the need for books has become more pressing – with many families financially struggling and children falling behind in their literacy skills.

‘The need in Australia has never been more dire,’ says founder Melinda Shelley. ‘When you are struggling to put food on the table, children’s books are a luxury.

‘Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development, yet the biggest barrier for many kids is the lack of access to books. That’s why our work is so important. I don’t want any more kids left behind.’

If you have any books you’d like to donate, you’ll find collection points at the entrance of Officeworks Ferntree Gully, Bendigo Bank, Knox Community Bank Group and ERL Rowville Library. You can also visit the 123Read2Me website.