United Way’s Big Red Bookshelf program aims to give children easy access to age appropriate books. Book ownership is important in fostering an interest in reading and a love for books. Children feel pride in owning their own books and develop confidence in reading when books are easily within reach and can be read again and again. Providing youth access to books in our community is vital to fostering a love and appreciation for reading and learning for life.
The Big Red Bookshelf program places bright red bookshelves within the Yankton community filled with books appropriate for children from birth to 5th grade. Children are encouraged to take a book home with them to keep and share.
Since its inception in November of 2013, over 31,000 donated children's books have recirculated throughout the Yankton community where they are made available free for families to own. Gently used or new books are donated by local businesses, nonprofit agencies, or community members or through book drives organized by service groups, congregations, local schools and campus organizations. These books are sorted, cleaned and affixed with a label, then set out on the bright red bookshelves at sites where families will have easy access to them.
You can find Big Red Bookshelves at the following locations:
United Way Nonprofit Center - 610 W 23rd St. Suite 11
Fryn’ Pan Family Restaurant - 21st & Broadway
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital - 501 Summit St.
Yankton Medical Clinic – 1104 W 8th St.
The Banquet, UCC – 210 W 5th St.
Yankton County Court Services – 410 Walnut Street
Heartland Psychological Services – 904 W 23rd St.
SD Human Services Center– 3515 Broadway St.
Summer Food Service Program – Webster, Stewart, and Yankton Middle School
Thanks to a partnership with First United Methodist Church, a new bookshelf location was recently added at their location, 207 West 11th St. The bookshelf is unique and is the only outdoor shelf, located on the north side of the church. Pastor Ron Johnson is enthusiastic about the partnership stating, “This is a great opportunity to better connect with our neighbors and to show them that we care about them.” Lisa Loecker added that “Reading is very important and providing our neighborhood youth access to books is important to our congregation.”
The goals of the Big Red Bookshelf program are to increase book ownership by families, encourage parent-child interactions with books, involve community members through book donations, and keep books circulating within the community.
Donations of gently used or new books appropriate for children from birth to 5th grade can be dropped off at the United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton, 610 W 23rd Street, Suite 11.
Are you a member of a service group or organization who would like to do a BOOK DRIVE, be a drop off location, or host a Big Red Bookshelf? Call United Way at 605-665-6766 or visit us at www.yanktonunitedway.org to learn more how you can contribute to this community program.
Pictured: Craig Sherman, Lisa Loecker, Pastor Corey Enfiled, and Rev. Ron Johnson with First United Methodist Church alongside the recentlhy dedicated Big Red Bookshelf.