Wisma Partners with Bernie’s Book Bank

Local restaurant partners with nonprofit to collect books for local at-risk children.

, a restaurant known for offering meals made from local, organic and sustainable ingredients, expanded its philosophy of providing good food for the body by partnering with Bernie’s Book Bank to provide good food for the mind. 

Bernie’s Book Bank is a Lake Forest-based nonprofit that collects, processes and redistributes new and gently used books to at-risk children who have little or no access to books at home. As an Exclusive Book Drop Network Partner, has on-site collection bins for anyone who wants to donate children’s books to the program. 

“We’re very excited about the partnership,” said Marci Silton, Wisma manager. “We really believe that children deserve the opportunity to have these books.”

Once books are collected, they are filtered for quality and sorted into age-appropriate categories. After being tagged with a Bernie’s Book Bank sticker, the books are packaged into bags of six and packed up for distribution.

The book bank team members personally deliver books to schools and programs that serve at-risk children. The process, from collection to redistribution, takes about seven days and books are distributed locally in Chicago and suburbs such as Waukegan, Park City, Zion and North Chicago.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children whose parents read to them do better in school. In the same study, the NCES said, “Young children living in families with incomes below the poverty threshold are less likely than other children to show signs of emerging literacy.”

“We want to get books out to these kids so they can experience a love of books and learning to read,” Silton said. 

If you want to donate books to Bernie’s Book Bank, simply visit , 528 N. Milwaukee Ave., and drop your new or gently used children’s books in one of the three bins located in the back of the store.

If you have more than 10 boxes of books you’d like to donate, please call Bernie’s Book Bank directly at 847-780-7323 to schedule a pick up. For more information on Bernie’s Book Bank, volunteer opportunities or if you would like to make a monetary donation, visit: www.BerniesBookBank.org


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