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For Release:        March 28, 2018                      

Books for Kids Campaign Kickoff 
Over 2.8 Million Books Distributed

A child who develops a love of books and reading gains a major foundation to success. 
        -Dr. Geraldine Bard and Dr. Elizabeth Cappella, co-founders of Project Flight 

The annual BOOKS FOR KIDS campaign held its official kickoff yesterday at The Salvation Army, which is a beneficiary of the program.  The ceremony highlighted the fact that more than 2.8 million new books have been distributed to children in need since the BOOKS FOR KIDS initiative started back in 1995 as a partnership between The Buffalo News, Project Flight and Buffalo State College. It has now successfully grown to include support from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System, WGRZ-Channel 2, Wegmans and Townsquare Media radio stations WBLK and WYRK. 

This year the community donation drive runs April 1 – 30, 2018. 

“For an amazing quarter of a century, BOOKS FOR KIDS has ensured every child has a book of his or her own.  A love of reading is one of the keys to a great future.  The Buffalo News is thrilled to help make that happen," said Mike Connelly, editor of The Buffalo News.

“We know that literacy helps to promote problem solving and thinking skills, critical for a child’s success in school and life.  BOOKS FOR KIDS has helped put a book in the hands of millions of children in need, and Wegmans is proud to help support this program that makes it easy for our shoppers to give,” said Michele Mehaffy, Buffalo consumer affairs manager for Wegmans Food Markets. 

“Wonderful things happen when children are given a book of their own.  Reading a book or being read to truly engages the mind and inspires creativity, discovery and resourcefulness,” said Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski.

Additional speakers were Major Thomas Applin from The Salvation Army, Melissa Holmes, Co-Anchor, WGRZ-Channel 2 Daybreak News and Yasmin Young, WBLK radio personality and Marketing and Promotions Manager at Townsquare Media.

A community book drive takes place on Friday, April 20 at Wegmans, 5275 Sheridan Dr., Williamsville, beginning at 5:00 a.m. with live broadcast remotes on WGRZ-Channel 2’s Daybreak program and WYRK Radio’s morning drive.  From 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. the Library on Wheels Bookmobile will be stationed in the Wegmans parking lot and open for browsing and borrowing.  A Storytelling program for children is scheduled inside the store at 10:30 a.m.  One can bring a new book to donate to the drive or purchases can be made at Wegmans. 

Community donation locations accepting books throughout the month of April:   

All Wegmans in Erie & Niagara counties
All Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries
The Buffalo News, corner of Washington and Scott streets, downtown Buffalo
All Dipson Theaters
All WNY Mattress Firm locations
All Raymour & Flanigan locations 
Tom’s Restaurant, 3221 Sheridan Drive, Amherst 
Monetary donations to purchase new books for children with special needs are also welcome and will be used to buy Braille, large-print and other specialized books. 

Make checks payable to:  BOOKS FOR KIDS / Project Flight

Mail to:  Project Flight BOOKS FOR KIDS c/o Donations   
7954 Transit Road   
PMB 205   
Buffalo, New York 14221

For more information visit: http://buffalonews.com/corporate/community/causes/books-kids/ or BuffaloNews.com/booksforkids or call 716-858-8608.