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Junior League of OKC To Collect Thousands Of Books For Kids

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Junior League of Oklahoma City and the Bank of Oklahoma are once-again partnering to collect thousands of books for underprivileged children throughout Oklahoma City during the month of June for the eighth-annual Literacy Campaign and Book Drive.

The focus of the Junior League is "Changing Lives Through Literacy." Last year, the Literacy Book Drive collected over 13,000 books that the Junior League distributed to non-profits throughout the city.

"The Junior League of Oklahoma City is pleased to partner with BOK in our annual Book Drive," said Whitney Tero, JLOC President. "Through this collaboration, we not only collect on average more than 10,000 books annually to be distributed in the Oklahoma City metro area, but we also directly impact literacy rates in our community."

During the month of June, Oklahoma City-area residents are asked to bring new or gently used books to any of 40 locations throughout Oklahoma City, including: 34 BOK locations, Junior League Remarkable Shop, Junior League Headquarters, OKC Zoo, two Barnes & Noble Book Stores and Fox 25 News. Books for children ages six months to 12 years are preferred.

Last year, over 13,000 of books were collected during the month of June throughout the Oklahoma City metro area. With the help of Oklahoma City residents, Bank of Oklahoma and the Junior League hope to surpass last year's contribution.

Early literacy education can help shape Oklahoma City's future:

• 43,000+ Oklahoma County residents, or 12 percent of Oklahoma County, read at a below basic level – meaning they would have difficulty filling out a job application, reading a prescription label, or locating an intersection on a map.

• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 35 percent of fourth-grade students in Oklahoma score at below basic level.

• 13 OKC elementary schools scores were below 30 percent proficiency in reading scores in 2009.

The Junior League of Oklahoma City's mission is to impact the community. The League is proud to partner with 16 nonprofit agencies in an effort to provide services and support to the Oklahoma City community. As a partner agency, the Junior League works with many organizations to promote literacy among at-risk children and cultivate an overall excitement for reading.

A portion of this year's book collection will go to METRO Transit and will be distributed in mid-August at the main terminal in downtown OKC. Anyone who would like a book free of charge is welcome to come to the Main Transit Center between 7 am and 10 am on Friday, August 12, 2011.

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