New Haven Reads in need of help after ruined bookdrive - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven Reads in need of help after ruined bookdrive

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An outpouring of support was shown for a New Haven non-profit that nurtures a lifelong love of reading.

After leaky pipes ruined books and jeopardized "New Haven Reads" of the school year giveaway, a community is stepping up to make sure this story has a happy ending.

Channel 3's Matt McFarland has the details.

For Victoria Sanchez, the book bank and operations director for New Haven Reads, the leaky pipe caused quite a headache.

"We lost a book shelf like this that was filled with picture books," Sanchez said.

Using bins and crates, they moved and saved what they could, but she said the leak from the upstairs bathroom ruined hundreds of picture books being stored in their basement for some of their littlest readers; first and second graders.

Instead of being handed out to students next month, as part of an end of school giveaway, they had to be pitched out.

And when word spread of their plight, many answered the call.

"A couple different publishers are going to send us a box or two of books, the CT Children's Museum is sending us some books. We're picking them up today. The New Haven police department started doing a fundraiser, we have a wish list going. It's been moving. Sometimes I can't get through my emails because I start tearing up," Sanchez said.

While the pressing need right now replacing the books and filling the shelves of everything that was lost, those at New Haven Reads said they're also looking for more tutors to help with their after school program.

"We have grown over the past 15 years to where the tutoring program serves over 500 children a week, with free one-on-one literacy tutoring. In order to do that we have over 400 volunteers that come in from the community. We have a wait list of 100 kids, still looking for more tutors," said Tanya Smith, a member of the organization.

That tutoring, along with the books are free. The building blocks of a literacy based mission sharing in the joy and power of reading.

"It's kind of a no-brainer, if you don't have books in the home, you can't read, so the books are providing the opportunity to increase their reading skills and for the parents to show the kids, they're reading as well," Smith said.

If anyone would like to donate or volunteer, more information is available here.

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