by Beatriz Mendoza
The University of La Verne Literacy Clinic is teaming up with Starbucks to promote literacy throughout the month of March with its first annual book drive, “Helping Children Read for Life.”
“Some kids don’t have books,” said Literacy Clinic Coordinator Kalinda Schreiber. “This is their only opportunity to obtain literacy.”
Beginning March 15, customers and employees at 10 different Starbucks locations will be encouraged to donate new or gently used books for students in first through 12th grade.
Although the Literacy Clinic already has an assortment of books, from SAT preparation books to Dr. Seuss books, often there are not enough copies for two or three students to use the books at the same time. This is one of the many reasons why this year’s book drive is important.
“We want to stock our reading room,” said Schreiber. “Books have already been donated by the ULV Education Department, professors, Girl Scouts and book clubs.”
The Literacy Clinic was established in 2001 to assist children from 17 local school districts.
“There is a lot of family and community involvement,” said ULV spokesman Charles Bentley.
Graduate students who have received their Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credentials assist students with one-on-one reading and students learning a second language free of charge, but their work does not stop there.
Once a month while a child is being tutored, the child’s parent also learns how to help. The parents are taught motivation skills and test-taking skills to encourage their children.
“We’re hoping to give parents the tools to help their child outside the classroom,” Schreiber said.
With the donation of books, it will be easier for children to have a variety of books to learn from.
Marsha Soboh, development director of the education department said that Starbucks is community oriented.
“We place a lot of value in the community,” said Claremont Starbucks store manager Matt MacDonald.
“The community gives so much to us that we like to take the opportunity to give back to them in any way we can,” he said.
Soboh said that this is only the beginning of Starbucks’ involvement with the ULV community.
“We’re planning a reading day where employees will have the opportunity to volunteer reading time with children two times a year,” MacDonald said.
During International Reading Day, Sept. 8, the literacy clinic will promote a read-a-thon, and for every hour completed, Starbucks will donate a portion of money to the literacy clinic.
Future plans for the clinic include relocating to E Street and adding a computer room for the children and a larger library.
“We want to become a demonstration model for the community,” Schreiber said.
Starbucks will help with the open house by helping paint murals on the wall of the new literacy clinic.
“For Starbucks to do this is absolutely wonderful,” Bentley said.