News + Events

Book Drive Will Help Bridge Summer Reading Gap

NYS OFCS shares love of literacy

Employees from the NYS Office of Children & Family Services marked Martin Luther King Day in a big way. A national day of service, many groups and individuals volunteer or take on a service project. Employees in the Rensselaer based office took up the challenge of hosting a Book Drive for children at Unity House. Their drive lasted weeks, during which time they were able to collect new and gently used books for toddler, pre-preschoolers, early elementary, middle schoolers, and even high schoolers.  The books, over 459 in total, were delivered to Unity House and are being distributed. Some will go to our free library, some to case managers for specific children in need, some to parents in our programs for families in need, and some to our shelter for victims of domestic violence. No matter where they go, they will end up in the hands of a child in need.

A good portion of the books will go to A Child’s Place at Unity House, which provides childcare and therapeutic services for children in need. Whether a child is ‘typical’ or has special needs, this program serves children ages 5 weeks to kindergarten age and works with local school districts to provide community-based Universal Pre Kindergarten. A Child’s Place also runs a summer camp program. It’s a great experience for school age children who otherwise would not have a summer camp experience. The camp is low-cost or free, depending on income.

It’s referred to as a ‘travelling’ summer camp since the children move each day to a different location in the Capital Region. One day they might be at Grafton State Park and the next at the NY State Museum. Books donated from the NYS OCFS will no doubt be distributed to children in the program.

Whether it’s Richard Scarry or Harry Potter, our libraries have something for every kid. Thanks to the efforts and generosity of the staff at the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, kids will have plenty of great titles to choose from.