Education

Brian Floriani 7 Million books and counting

Brian Floriani

Brian Floriani is the founder of Bernie’s Book Bank, a charity which promotes literacy.

The scheme donates books to the kids in Chicago’s inner city who need them most.

Zabreena Martinez, left, and Brianna Lizardo check out the books they received from Bernie's Book Bank. This third grade at Rowe Elementary School in Chicago received a shipment of books Oct. 25.

Zabreena Martinez, left, and Brianna Lizardo check out the books they received from Bernie’s Book Bank. This third grade at Rowe Elementary School in Chicago received a shipment of books.

Cindy Dampier of the Chicago Tribune recently interviewed Brian as part of a feature study on his work.

Brian Floriani, with the third-grade class at Rowe Elementary.

Brian Floriani, with the third-grade class at Rowe Elementary.

Bernie’s Book Bank has now delivered over 7 million books to schoolkids, and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Destiny Cannon looks at one of her books.

Destiny Cannon looks at one of her books.

The manifesto of the charity is to “deliver 12 books per year, every year to every at-risk child from birth through sixth grade, throughout Chicagoland. Those kids are at Women, Infants and Children (WIC) centers and at schools like Rowe, where the percentage of children eligible for free or reduced lunch hovers at around 80 percent.”

Floriani, a former golf pro, was inspired to start the charity after the sudden death of his father and grandmother, who passed away on the same day.

“When my father died,” he says, “I thought, ‘Will anybody have anything good to say about me when I’m gone? And will it be true?’ And then: ‘Will it matter?'”

Inspired by his father’s focus on literature and reading, Floriani has devoted his time to promoting similar values in kids across the city.

You can read the full interview HERE.

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