This week, Success Won’t Wait volunteers were eager to continue their support of the Caesar Rodney Rotary Club, creators of the Wilmington Book Tree Program, with a donation of 100+ children’s books. Begun in 2017, the Book Tree Program was initially modelled after the popular Little Free Library system. The Wilmington Book Tree Program provides free books for all members of the community, but today, differs just slightly from the Little Free Library; this program is more of a “take a book – take a book” rather than the “give a book – take a book” model.
Currently, there are two locations, one at the Fraim Boys and Girls Club in Elsmere, Delaware, and one on Church Street between 7th and 8th Streets next to the community garden in Wilmington, Delaware. These locations were selected as “pilot sites” due to a well-documented need for books in these areas.
According to organizer Brian Martinenza (pictured), “Child literacy rates lag behind where they should be in these areas. At the founding of the Wilmington Book Tree Program, over 50% of third graders in New Castle County were struggling to read at grade level.”
He continues, “As a club, we decided to provide a resource that both children and their parents could use for free reading materials, because it has been demonstrated that children with reading modelled in the home are more successful readers.”
The Caesar Rodney Rotary Club is responsible for the upkeep and restocking of the book boxes. And, Success Won’t Wait is proud to do its part! In a typical 6-month period the sites are restocked 4-5 times, each including several boxes of books.
“Our challenge has always been getting a good cross section of reading materials for the varied audience who accesses the book trees. We are really dealing with infant through adults, and providing a good balance of materials is difficult when working solely with donated materials,” explains Martinenza. “One of our favorite things about partnering with Success Won’t Wait is the ability to identify what types of books we need in order to fill out our inventory.”
About the Caesar Rodney Rotary Club
Caesar Rodney Rotary Club was founded in 1990 in Wilmington, Delaware. There are currently 60 community-minded members who meet every Friday at 7:30 am. (Prior to the pandemic meetings were held at the University and Whist Club for breakfast, but since the shutdowns, the group has been meeting virtually on Zoom.)
The Club is welcoming guests and potential members to join and learn more about the various community projects it supports. Inquiries may be directed to our current President Bob Maffia at email@example.com.
About Success Won’t Wait
Founded in 2002, Success Won’t Wait, Inc. is a not-for-profit literacy organization based in Wilmington, Delaware. Want to learn more about Success Won’t Wait’s literacy projects, or how to get books for your school, after school program, senior center or project? Click on the About Us tab to learn more or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read now, because success won’t wait!