Join GMA's Book Drive America

Our "Book Drive America" has enjoyed great success thanks to all those who have dedicated books and money to this charity.

During our last update on Good Morning America's book drive, weather forecaster Tony Perkins visited the Sovereign Bank in Philadelphia. The bank is sponsoring the Philadelphia phase of the Book Drive America book drive by helping 15,000 new books.

Anyone who lives in, or plans to visit, Philadelphia, should also feel free to get in on the book drive by donating new or gently used books.

Good Morning America is calling the Philadelphia phase of the drive it's "Help a Student Make the Grade" project because GMA is focusing on getting books to kids ages five to twelve.

Donated books will go to Philadelphia Reads (www.phila.gov/philareads) a program that works with individuals, schools, community and faith-based organizations and businesses to provide mentors, resources and advocacy education-based programs. Philadelphia Reads helps to strengthen the literacy skills of Philadelphia's children.

During our previous update on Good Morning America's book drive, Marysol Castro, the new weather and feature correspondent on GMA's weekend edition, stopped by the Children's Memorial Pediatric Uptown Clinic in Chicago where children received hundreds and hundreds of books through "Book Drive America."

With assistance from Chicago's Harlem Furniture, WLS-TV, Reach Out and Read, and Literacy Chicago, 22,806 donated books and 15, 970 new books were collected in Chicago over the summer.

The books were distributed among 88 different children's programs. The new books will go to early education programs in Chicago. The donated books are going to 75 health clinics around the city through a national program called Reach Out and Read, which works with doctors to deliver books to low-income children. For a full list of health clinics and hospitals in Chicago that take part in Reach Out and Read of Greater Chicago, go to http://www.rorchicago.org/locations.html.

The books collected in Chicago were carefully reviewed by the volunteers of Literacy Chicago to ensure that each book is in top condition and appropriate for very young children.

History of GMA's 'Book Drive America'

First lady Laura Bush helped kick off the tour aimed at bringing much-needed books to children, schools and community centers. She joined GMA again on May 10 to talk about her latest education initiative — the 2004 Laura Bush Foundation for America's libraries grant recipients. Visit www.laurabushfoundation.org for more information about the program.

GMA's Charlie Gibson announced that 73,000 books were being delivered to 78 schools throughout Michigan as a result of the latest Book Drive America effort in Detroit. GMA's Lara Spencer kicked off the drive.

Throughout the month of April, GMA and WXYZ-TV Channel 7 encouraged Michigan residents to donate gently used books at all 30 Art Van Furniture stores throughout the state. Volunteers from the Literacy Partnership of Southeast Michigan scanned, sorted and boxed these books. By May 18, Art Van Furniture had delivered 12,000 boxes of books to 63 elementary schools across Michigan.

Art Van Furniture and First Book brought an additional 15,000 new books to 15 schools in the greater Detroit area. First Book, a non-profit literacy organization focused on providing new books for kids to keep, has teamed up with GMA to make Book Drive America a success in all five cities.

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