CHA Receives 32,000 Books From National Book Foundation to Distribute to Youth

20,000 are being distributed at CHA offices and sites around the city; the remainder at 2023 Operation Warm event

The Chicago Housing Authority received 32,000 books through the National Book Foundation’s “Book Rich Environments” program. Throughout the summer, those books have been distributed across CHA sites throughout Chicago, fostering a culture of reading.

Roughly 20,000 books are currently being disseminated through CHA property management offices, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) satellite offices, computer labs, summer food sites, Local Advisory Council (LAC) offices, as well as CHA summer youth initiatives such as SYEP, Learn and Earn, and programs in collaboration with DePaul and the University of Chicago.

An additional batch of 12,000 books is set to be allocated during the CHA Operation Warm Coat Distribution Event scheduled for October 21st.

“The Book Rich Environments program promotes a love of reading in children and youth. We are excited to get even more books into the hands of children and their families this year,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott.

Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of National Book Foundation, said:

“We are so thrilled and grateful to be able to distribute over 320,000 books nationally this year through Book Rich Environments–the largest donation year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Books provide a vital outlet for young people where they can explore new worlds and see themselves reflected in endless possibilities.”

Book Rich Environments is a collaborative effort involving the National Book Foundation, the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Urban Libraries Council, and the National Center for Families Learning. This program is made possible through the generous contribution of books from publishers including ABRAMS, Candlewick Press, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Sourcebooks.

In 2022, the Book Rich Environments initiative extended its reach by partnering with 50 HUD-assisted communities, an expansion that included eight novel locations. This effort aims to cultivate a vibrant community of enthusiastic readers nationwide. Notably, in the previous year, CHA had gratefully received a collection of 22,000 books from this program.

Since 2017, BRE has distributed over 1.6 million new, free books to children and families living in public housing communities across the United States.

For more information on Book Rich Environments, visit the National Book Foundation’s website.


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