An effort is underway to collect children's books that will be distributed to local kids.

United Way of Mesa County is joining with local businesses during the month of April to collect books for area kids.

The drive serves a couple of purposes. One is to promote literacy, and the other is to emphasize  "positive adult and child interaction through reading."

I don't have any small children living at home, but I have often wondered what it's like nowadays when it comes to kids and reading. I remember as far back as second grade and the reading contest we had in Mrs. Clark's class in Akron, Colorado, which encouraged us to read - a lot.

When I was in second grade we didn't have smart phones, tablets, computers, ipods and ipads,VCRs or cable TV. With only four television channels to choose from, we spent a lot of time outdoors, playing games with the folks, and reading books. I get the sneaky feeling that times have changed.

It may be that some kids aren't reading as much as they should because their family simply can not afford to buy books, so this effort could make a significant impact on the lives of a lot of Grand Valley kids.

During the month of April you are asked to donate new or gently used books to the cause, and there will be a big book giveaway on May 6  from 11AM-5PM at Mesa Mall.

You can drop off your book donations at these locations.

  • Alpine Bank Branches
  • Bank of the San Juans Branches
  • Comm West
  • Enstrom Candies
  • Fed Ex
  • Hopewest
  • Office Outfitters
  • Rocky Mountain Health Plans
  • American Furniture Warehouse
  • Mesa County Offices including the fairgrounds, Central Services, the old courthouse, and DHS

In 2016,  the Colorado Business Reads effort distributed more than 155,000 books statewide. Let's see what kind of impact we can make on  our community with a successful book drive.