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Literacy Across Harlem Holiday Book Drive opens for the season

Olayemi Odesanya | 12/5/2013, 2:48 p.m.

Some say it takes a village; we say it takes a Harlem!” said Joe Rogers Jr., the founder and facilitator of Total Equity Now.

The second annual Literacy Across Harlem Holiday Book Drive is here. All 11 decorated book-donation boxes have been delivered to the sites participating in this year’s holiday book drive. Over the next three weeks, Harlemites are being asked to fill them with hundreds of “new and like-new reading gifts,” said Rogers.

Rogers said, “This year’s holiday book drive runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 21, and all of the high-quality books we collect will be delivered by Dec. 21 to fellow Harlemites: families residing in homeless shelters, women involved in the criminal justice system who are rebuilding positive lives for themselves and their young children, foster care organizations serving Harlem families, adult learners striving to improve their literacy skills and havens for victims of domestic violence.”

Rogers said that last year, the generous public donated close to 1,000 new and like-new books. “This year, we’ve asked each holiday book drive partner to rally customers, employees and/or students to collect at least 150 reading treasures. To that end, several partners are offering special incentives, which we will be announcing via Twitter and Facebook throughout the week. The partner who collects the most books will receive special recognition.

“Thank you in advance for your generosity over the next few weeks and for your ongoing commitment to advancing educational excellence and equity across our village. And a special thank you to our holiday book drive partners for once again joining forces with us to give the gift of reading and spread the #RockThoseReads love.”

For more information, email Books4Harlem@TotalEquityNowHarlem.org.

The book drive will conclude at most partner sites on Friday, Dec. 20; however, Harlem4Kids will accept books the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21st in conjunction with its “Storytime Saturday” program. Details are included below.

East Harlem:

  • East Harlem Cafe: 1651 Lexington Ave.
  • La Casa Azul Bookstore: 143 E. 103rd St.
  • Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College: 2180 Third Ave. (Tuesday, Nov. 26 through Thursday, Dec. 19—Silberman students, staff and alumni only)

Central Harlem:

  • Astor Row Cafe: 404 Lenox Ave.
  • Harlem YMCA: 180 W. 135th St.
  • Make My Cake: 121 St. Nicholas Ave.
  • Harlem4Kids: Harlem PAL—441 Manhattan Ave. (Two dates only: Dec. 7, 10-11 a.m.; Dec. 21, 10-11 a.m.)

West Harlem:

  • Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center: 1942 Amsterdam Ave.
  • Cafe One: 1619 Amsterdam Ave.
  • Teachers College, Columbia University—Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis: 525 W. 120th St., 212 Zankel Hall
  • City College of New York—National Society of Black Engineers (Undergraduate Chapter): Grove School of Engineering, 160 Convent Ave.