Salina, KS

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Free Books to be Distributed this Week

Todd PittengerJune 22, 2020

A colorful van will be out and about this week delivering free children’s books around the community.

The Salina Area United Way is using its Community Action Mobile Outreach (CAMO) van to get the books to young readers as part of its Raising Active Wild Readers (RAWR) program.

According to the United Way, area individuals recently donated more than 3,300 children’s books. The new and gently used, cleaned books will be available at five of USD 305 Summer Meals sites, and four city parks and some books will be placed in the  “Free Little” libraries across the city.

“Going directly to the children and allowing them personally to select their books encourages learning and inspires imaginations during the summer,” said Brenda Gutierrez, Salina Area United Way program director. “Research shows children learn best when they are engaged and having fun.”

One goal of the local United Way is to increase the high school graduation rate. Making books more widely available to children throughout the year is vital for reading success and improvement of graduation rates, Gutierrez added.

“One of the most important things we can do for our kids is to get quality books in their hands,” said Kylee Hofmeier, Salina USD 305 Teacher of the Year. “It is amazing we have a community that helps build our students’ libraries at home.”

Both Gutierrez and United Way Executive Director Claire Mullen thank area residents who collected children’s books and brought them to the United Way office downtown. Thank you also to the Salina Public Library, OCCK Transportation, Martinelli’s, McDonald’s, and Freddy’s for their support of RAWR.

The Summer Meals site schedule, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., RAWR will be:

  • Monday – Oakdale Elementary, 811 E. Iron, north side of the building
  • Tuesday – Central High School, 650 E. Crawford, south side of the building
  • Wednesday – Schilling Elementary, 3121 Canterbury, north side of the building
  • Thursday – Sunset Elementary, 1510 W. Republic, west side of the building
  • Friday – Heartland Early Education, 700 Jupiter, west side of the building

City of Salina parks on the RAWR book delivery schedule are:

  • Monday – Oxbow Park, 901 Faith Dr., 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday – Hawthorn Park, 715 N 9th St., 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday – Centennial Park, 746 Camanche Ave., 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday – Olivia’s Playground, 323 Center St., 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The RAWR program, delivers books to schools and parks, and next week is a weeklong celebration of United Way’s June 21 Worldwide Day of Action. United Way’s Day of Action provides opportunities for individuals and groups to be a part of solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives.

Join Salina Area United Way’s initiatives to improve early grade reading proficiency, keep students on track for high school graduation and college or career ready.

For more information about USD 305 Free Grab-and-Go Breakfast and Lunch, including all the meal sites, visit or call (785) 309-4700.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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