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Stuff the Bus brings in nearly 20,000 books for area child care programs


Nearly 20,000 children’s books were collected Tuesday during the United Way of Central Iowa’s Stuff the Bus book drive. Employees from 29 Central Iowa organizations contributed books, which will be distributed to nearly 150 child care or child-serving programs in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties. “Having access to books at an early age is key to helping all kids get the start they need to learn how to read, keep them on track academically, and ultimately, to graduate from high school,” United Way of Central Iowa President Elisabeth Buck said in a news release.” The books will create “new connections, inspiring an exploration of unknown paths, and fostering a love of reading in our youngest central Iowans,” she said. The annual book drive was sponsored by Athene USA and Shazam. “Our Athene team understands the importance of education … and the role it plays in creating a thriving community. It’s why our employees are passionate about supporting this program,” Athene CEO Grant Kvalheim said. Paul Waltz, president and CEO of Shazam, said the company and its employees “understand that success in school is key to a bright future, and reading is the foundation to that success.” In the photo: The United Way of Central Iowa’s annual Stuff the Bus book drive collected nearly 20,000 children’s books on Tuesday. Photo contributed by United Way of Central Iowa.

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