Local bookstore owner hopes to donate 21,300 books to Peoria Public Schools students

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A local business owner is asking for book donations to help Peoria Public Schools District 150 students.

Stacy Hardin, the owner at Book Rack Used Books, is working to collect 21,300 books before school starts.

For students in grades kindergarten through eighth, there are 355 classrooms. With a goal of 21,300 books, it breaks down to 60 new books per classroom.

“Aside from the academic benefits, books are fun. They’re fun. Kids love to read books, they love to see characters and all the adventures that the characters are going on. So, getting them to read is really important not only for their academia and for their future, but also for their brains, and self-esteem and value,” said Hardin.

Hardin says every year, teachers come into Book Rack to stock up for the new school year.

She says they often use their own money to supply books for students and that inspired Hardin to start Bookstock 150 this year.

She hopes the books will encourage students and increase literacy in the community.

“When you get them to read when they’re young, they’re going to develop a lifelong love of reading. So it’s really important to target them when they’re young – kindergarten, first grade, second grade. If you get kids reading up to grade level by third grade, they have a better chance of going to college,” said Hardin.

Hardin is collecting books for Bookstock 150 through August 12.

So far, she has more than 7,000 books – a third of the way to the goal.

Hardin says people can donate gently used kids or young adult books to Book Rack during store hours. It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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