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Cincinnati Unions Key to Successful Book Drive

Members of AFSCME Ohio Council 8 never quit giving back to their community. Their latest effort: donating more than 1,000 books to a Cincinnati school.
By Joe Weidner, AFSCME Council 8 ·
Cincinnati Unions Key to Successful Book Drive Members of Ohio AFSCME Council 8 gave back to their community by way of donating more than 1,000 books to a Cincinnati elementary school. Front row (left to right): Local 1543 Pres. Tom West, Cincinnati Regional Dir. Renita Jones-Street, Local 3119 Pres. Gina Pratt, Local 3119 Vice Pres. Jacqueline Silas, Local 240 Vice Pres. Christopher McDonald and Local 250 Vice Pres. Kelly Malone. Back row (left to right): Local 217 Pres. Mike Walker, Local 240 Pres. Kevin Sluder, Local 223 Pres. John Lloyd, Local 190 Pres. Don Klapper and Local 223 Vice Pres. Skip Zimmer.

CINCINNATI – AFSCME Council 8 members helped a community book drive surpass its goal of donating 3,000 books to the city’s elementary schools. In fact, AFSCME unions were responsible for nearly half of the 3,400 books collected during the two-week effort.

“Our goal was to place one new book in the hands of each student in kindergarten through third grade before the start of summer vacation, and we succeeded,” said Gina Pratt, president of AFSCME Local 3119, representing the city’s public health nurses.

Summer reading is critical for every student, and especially important in helping to meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program, which identifies students from kindergarten through grade 3 who are behind in reading. Schools provide help and support to make sure all students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade.

Each book given to a student will come with corresponding activities and will encourage summer reading through incentives tied to a student’s school.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” said Renita Jones-Street, Council 8’s Cincinnati Regional Director.  “And in the front of each book there was a label naming the union that provided the book.”

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