A month-long summer book drive organized by the legislative district office of Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker has donated 4,000 books for local students in kindergarten through grade 12.
"Research shows that daily reading is a critical way to keep kids engaged and learning year-round. I am so proud of the way our community came together to donate books for children," said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "I'm grateful to all those who participated in this effort to provide children with the opportunity to foster their imagination, challenge themselves and tap into their full potential through the pages of a book."
Zwicker partnered with numerous local nonprofit organizations from early June through July 6 to collect reading material for children in the 16th Legislative District.
"We applaud Assemblyman Zwicker's summer reading book drive and appreciate all who donated to support this worthwhile initiative. Hunterdon Medical Center will make these books available to our pediatric patients throughout our system's waiting rooms and patient care areas," said Robert P. Wise, president and CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare. "As much as we care about keeping our children healthy, reading is fundamental to a child's development and encourages imagination and growth."
"This book drive is a tremendous help to the YWCA Princeton and our Young Wonders childcare," said Judy Hutton, CEO of the Princeton YWCA. "It is so important that our children stay engaged and keep up with their reading, especially in the summer."
"Hugs for Brady Foundation is extremely grateful to be a recipient of books. Books help very sick children pass the time during long hospital stays," said Sherrie Wells, founder of the Hugs for Brady Foundation, a nonprofit established to help children battling cancer. "A very heartfelt thank you goes out to Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and his devoted team for organizing this drive to help ease the pain of children battling cancer."
"SWEET READS is a nonprofit organization based out of Neshanic Station that distributes books to children, particularly those in need. We are thrilled to have received the generous book donation from Assemblyman Zwicker's office, as it will help us in our mission of getting books into the hands of children and inspiring an early love of reading," said Tamiko Hubbard, executive director of SWEET READS, a local organization that provides new and gently used quality books to children from underserved communities.
"Thank you to Assemblyman Zwicker and his staff for the multitude of donated books, which has allowed us at The Arc of Somerset and The Jerry Davis Center to happily give to almost 30 children and their families who are part of our specialized childcare/preschool program," said Jill Glassman, director of Early Childhood Services at The Arc of Somerset County. "This donation has continued to help our daily efforts to strongly encourage the love, excitement and lifelong skill of reading from the very youngest of ages."
Zwicker noted that interns in his district office played an integral role in coordinating the book drive and thanked them for an exceptional commitment to constituent services.
"Students completing internships in my office displayed an impressive sense of selflessness throughout the book drive," said Zwicker. "The success of this endeavor is due in large part to their hard work and dedication to improving their community."
Contributors to the book drive include the following groups: the Amick Family, the Chorney Family, the Craft Family, First Presbyterian Church at Dayton, the Hillsborough Library, the Montgomery Democrats, the Padulo Family, Princeton Library, the Sloan Family, the Somerset County Young Democrats and the South Brunswick Library.
Book recipients, who will distribute the books, include: AGAPE House Fellowship, The Arc of Middlesex County, The Arc of Somerset County, Arm and Arm Trenton, Family Support Organization of Hunterdon, Somerset & Warren Counties, the Flemington Food Pantry, GiGi's Play House, the Hillsborough YMCA, HiTOPS, Hugs for Brady, Hunterdon Healthcare, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, the Princeton Blairstown Center, the Princeton Learning Cooperative, the Princeton YWCA, SAFE in Hunterdon, the Somerset County Food Bank, South Brunswick Parks and Recreation, South Brunswick Social Services and SWEET READS.