Next Rockford Book Drive Big Success

Dad, what does that sign say? Dad, how do you spell this word? Dad, what does R-O-C-K-F-O-R-D spell? Ok, my 6 year old didn’t ask that last one, but everyone should be concerned about early childhood education in a town like ours. The positive impact that literacy can have on children from birth through elementary school can be life changing. Next Rockford is an organization with a goal of improving Rockford, connecting leaders, and advocating for issues important to our members and the community. Education has been a focus of our group since our founding. Everyone has seen statistics showing the improvements that come later in life when kids learn to read at an early age. Unfortunately the opposite is also true… Those children in the lowest reading levels in elementary school are less likely to graduate high school. We were surprised to learn that more often than not these children have few books at their homes, if any. We wanted to do something about that issue, so we announced a book drive just over a month ago with the hopes of raising money for new books or collecting gently used books in order to put a book in the hands of 900 third through fifth graders in Rockford before the summer. Books they could take home and hopefully read over and over again. Thanks to a great membership response and help from Half-Price Books, Rockford Christian School, Spectrum School, Christian Life School, and Washington Elementary School we were able to raise over 7500 books! So we increased our scale and put 3+ books in the hands of over 2000 kids! Every 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader at Beyer, Kishwaukee, Ellis, Lewis Lemon, Nelson, Riverdahl, CICS Jackson, Galapagos, Legacy, King, and McIntosh, as well as children at Rock House Kids and Fairview Early Childhood Center were given multiple books. As a city we are very fortunate that Rockford Public Schools recognizes the importance of early childhood education and groups like Alignment Rockford are working hard to improve the education statistics in Rockford. In the meantime, if you’re interested in helping out with next years book drive shoot me an email at christopher.weber@morganstanley.com, there are some kids that would be truly thrilled to have that gently used book that hasn’t been read in years! And maybe we can help more kids learn what R-O-C-K-F-O-R-D spells!

Chris Weber
Next Rockford Education Chair


Next Rockford exists to…..

– Connect generational leaders to one another.

– Educate our generations on the issues important to the community and to individual members.

– Once we are connected and educated, successfully advocate for issues important to our generations, members, and community.