BRADENTON -- The Manatee YMCA will give Manatee Elementary students free books on Thursday.
In its second year, the book drive provides books to elementary age children who may not otherwise be able to read at home, according to officials.
"Sixty-five percent of children in Manatee County do not have a grade level appropriate book at home, and fifty percent are not reading at grade level," said Sean Allison, CEO of the Manatee YMCA. "We feel like it's our responsibility to do something about that. Our YREADS program helps to improve reading skills for kids in Manatee County, and this program gives them books to bring home."
Books for the book drive were collected at SunTrust bank branches, BMO Harris branches, and the Manatee YMCA in November and December. Books-A-Million in Bradenton donated almost $4,500 worth of books for the drive.
For more information about the Manatee YMCA Book Drive, contact Jackie Riordan at (941) 798-YMCA (9622) ext. 113 or manateeymca.org.