Officials at the Baltimore Reads literacy organization are counting down to Saturday's annual "Books for Kids Day" collection, hoping to bring in 50,000 new or "gently used" books for distribution to families throughout the area.
The collection, which will take place at Polytechnic Institute on Cold Spring Lane, will replenish the children's book supply at Baltimore Reads' 15 distribution sites and its downtown book bank, which annually give more than 65,000 books to children and adults.
"To be successful, every child needs to know how to read and they need to have the tools to read," said Susannah Bergmann, community outreach manager at Baltimore Reads.
The "Books For Kids Day" is the final portion of a three-part initiative to collect books toward that goal, said Bergmann. The first part involves book donations by large corporations, such as publishing company Scholastic Inc., which donated 12,000 books to this year's drive. The second is book collection by schools and other organizations. Baltimore Reads has collected 27,555 books in those two phases.
The last part is the "Books For Kids Day," which is intended to collect books from individuals.
Bergmann said books for all age levels will be accepted Saturday, but the organization especially needs quality children's books for kindergartners through third-grade.
Among those expected to attend Saturday's event are Baltimore Ravens guard Edwin Mulitalo and the seven members of the Baltimore Reads Kids Committee 2000-2001. The members of the Kid's Committee chose the poster that is on the "Books For Kids Day" literature.
Book donation will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the school parking lot, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane.