Whitecaps Community Foundation to Donate 1,900 Books to Area Schools to Encourage Reading

The Whitecaps Community Foundation will donate 1,900 books to five Grand Rapids Public Schools this week in an effort to encourage children to read during March is Reading Month and beyond.

The books were selected by GRPS educators and will be delivered as a surprise to Brookside Elementary, Mulick Park Elementary, Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary, Cesar Chavez Elementary and Burton Elementary on Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23. These five schools were selected to receive the free books because of their designation as high priority elementary schools in the GRPS system; many of their pupils do not have access to resources such as books. With this donation, every child at these five schools will receive one free book.

This is the second year of the book donation. Last year, the Whitecaps Community Foundation donated a book to every child at Dickinson Elementary School in Grand Rapids (300 in total).

The book donation is a part of the Whitecaps Community Foundation’s Reading Program, which helps area school children enjoy Whitecaps baseball while promoting reading. Children from area West Michigan schools who read a 15 minutes a day, during the month, can attend a Whitecaps game for free in April through June. The Foundation delivers all support materials, such as reading tracking calendars and posters, to all participating schools at no cost. Last year’s Reading Program had more than 70,000 K-6 area children participate from 268 schools. Nearly 20,000 complimentary tickets were given this season to children and their families in West Michigan. 

The Whitecaps Community Foundation, the nonprofit extension of the West Michigan Whitecaps, is a 501c3 organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and their families by providing them with access to social, educational and recreational programs that will have a positive impact on their futures. With the help and generosity of community partners and members, the Whitecaps Community Foundation continues to strive to make the West Michigan area a better place to grow, learn, and thrive.

In 2016, through a combination of donations and fundraising efforts, the Whitecaps Community Foundation gave more than $555,000 to local children and their families through programs such as the reading program’s book donation and many others.

For more information on the book deliveries please contact Mickey Graham at (616) 726-7067 and for information on the Whitecaps Community Foundation, including how to volunteer and/or donate, please visit www.whitecapscommunityfoundation.org.