Albuquerque, NM – “The long-standing "Read to Me" Book Drive is the perfect opportunity for the Duke City Gladiators organization to demonstrate its commitment to giving back to this community that I love so much,” lauds Gladiators’ owner Gina Prieskorn-Thomas. Born and raised in the Duke City, Gina is the sole proprietor, manager and first woman owner of a Championship Indoor Football League (CIFL) team, the Duke  City Gladiators.

The Gladiators’ sponsorship of the Book Drive is only the beginning of community outreach, unveiled in an Education & Training (E&T) unit which will include a host of other educational and civic initiatives.

“Gladiator players in uniform will pass out game tickets and memorabilia to the the February 5th Kick-off at the Main Library. Gladiator players will attend in uniform and bring with them game tickets and memorabilia for the students from Lew Wallace Elementary School who will be in attendance,” states Gina. “We are hoping that they will also get a chance to read to the kids!”

The citywide book drive begins Feb. 15 and runs through March 31, 2016. The goal of the book drive is to collect 60,000 books and distribute them to children from low-income families.

The Read to Me Book Drive, through the collection and donation of books to children, builds a foundation for developing literacy skills. Elementary school children from families with limited resources will receive books and bookmarks to take home, as well as Library program information and a coupon for Cliff's Amusement Park.

Book Collection Sites

Read to Me Book Drive collection sites will be located throughout the greater Albuquerque area at the following locations:

  • Barnes & Noble

  • John Brooks Supermart

  • Applebee's

  • La Montanita Natural Foods Coop

  • Chick-fil-A

  • Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library System

  • Holiday Park and Taylor Ranch Community Centers

  • Bookworks

Nearly 50 local employers also will conduct Read to Me book drives among their employees and patrons.

Partnerships

This year's kick-off will highlight some of the partnerships that have formed to encourage literacy development in our youngest children. Children from Barelas Child Development Center will be transported to the Main Library by ABQ RIDE. We invite members of the media to hear not only about the Read to Me book drive but briefly about the work of each of the partners around literacy.

Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors: City of Albuquerque, ABQ Ride, Friends for the Public Library, UNM Lobos, and New Mexico Rail Runner.

Silver Sponsor: Wells Fargo