Center for the Performing Arts concludes ‘meaningful’ book drive
For the past five months, blue donation bins holding new and gently used books could be seen in the lobby of Eisenhower Auditorium. The ongoing donations were a part of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s book drive benefitting the Mid-State Literacy Council.
The book drive, which ended April 18, collected 34 boxes of books for children with pre-school to sixth-grade reading levels. The books will be distributed among Bald Eagle Area School District’s Howard, Mountaintop Area, Port Matilda and Wingate elementary schools.
“It has been very meaningful for the Center for the Performing Arts staff and patrons to have the opportunity to give back when they come to the theater,” said Medora Ebersole, the center’s education and community programs manager.
The Center for the Performing Arts has partnered with other charitable organizations, Ebersole said, but this is the first initiative involving the Mid-State Literacy Council. The nonprofit council provides basic literacy services to those in need in Centre and Clearfield counties. It has about 250 volunteers and receives no government funding.
Amy Wilson, director of the council, reached out to the Center for the Performing Arts last spring in hope of developing a partnership. She said the resulting collaboration provided an opportunity to integrate the arts and education in a charitable way.
“The book drive has brought in many more arts-related books, which is terrific,” Wilson said.
In addition to assisting local residents with reading- and learning-related challenges, the council is committed to ensuring children have access to books during the time they are not in school.
“The book drive was established so these elementary children have books at home to read over the summer in order to maintain their reading skills,” she said.
Community members can continue to donate new and gently used children’s books to the council at 248 E. Calder Way, Suite 307, in State College. Learn more about the council’s initiatives.