Reading aloud to children of all ages helps them develop a love for reading and learn the skills they need to read on their own.

Jami Anderson, manager of Barnes and Noble in Orem, remembers falling in love with reading because her parents took time to read together as a family.

“Books can bring families closer together,” Anderson said. “When parents set an example of loving to read, their children will also want to read. Reading is important to set a foundation for learning and education.”

She encourages parents to read to their children and families to read together. She says even the most reluctant reader can learn to love reading.

“Find topics your children are interested in and read about those topics together,” she said. “Even if you’re unsure if the topic is good for your child, give it a chance. When kids have books about topics they are interested in, they are more likely to read those books.”

Anderson said it’s important to have books in the home, and sometimes that is a challenge for lower-income families. So each year, starting in November, Barnes and Noble in Orem runs a book drive to collect new books for United Way’s EveryDay Learners program. Shoppers are able to purchase new books and donate them right at the store.

“For the past few years, we’ve been donating to United Way because we want to donate to an organization that helps people,” Anderson said. “We know there are lots of organizations we could donate books to, but we feel United Way gives to people who really need the help.”

This last holiday season, more than 2,500 books were donated through the Barnes and Noble book drive. Anderson said it’s easy to give when the shoppers are already there in the store buying books, and they have such a large range of book prices that it doesn’t have to be too expensive.

Anderson said the customers in the store understand the value of having books in the home.

The books donated through the book drive will be donated to low-income families through Ready to Learn workshops, the South Franklin Community Center and other nonprofit programs.

For more information and resources, visit http://everydaylearners.org.