The American Booksellers Association is calling on booksellers, authors, and publishers who are attending the seventh annual Children’s Institute, taking place June 26-28, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to bring along children’s books to donate to the Pittsburgh OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program.
ABA will be collecting books for the program at the Welcome Desk on Wednesday, June 26, in the main lobby of this year’s host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh-Green Tree, and at the Ask ABA desk, located in the hotel’s ballroom rotunda, on Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28.
The OASIS program is affiliated with Literacy Pittsburgh, the largest literacy organization in the region. For the past 20 years, OASIS has helped high-need children in first through fourth grades learn to read at grade level. Each week, volunteers over the age of 50 come to the schools these children attend to offer one-on-one help. Through the program, which is currently offered in Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Wilkinsburg School District, and the Woodland Hills School District, participating children gain confidence and a positive self-image while improving their reading ability, academic performance, and attitude about learning.
John Spehar, director of the OASIS program, said he is very excited about ABA’s interest in making a book donation to the organization. They are most interested in fiction or nonfiction books that would be appropriate for children ages five to eight years old, Spehar said.
“OASIS uses donated books to maintain a library from which tutors can take books to read with their students during the school year,” said OASIS assistant and volunteer Kathy Fear. “It’s always a very special time at the end of each school year when tutors can give their students books to take home. This is particularly important because the summer slide can inhibit academic reading levels. Donated books are also given away to children at events and fill the Literacy Pittsburgh bookshelf for the children of their students.”
Booksellers are invited to contact ABA Meetings and Planning Officer Jill Perlstein with any questions about the book drive.