THINK Together Aims to Collect More Than 60,000 Donated Books to be Distributed to Children throughout the County

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Early Literacy programs supported by the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and managed by THINK Together will receive the books at the OC Fair as Part of We Care Wednesday.

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Through these book drives, we are able to distribute much-needed books to children and help them get an early start to their education.

The Children and Families Commission’s early literacy program, managed by THINK Together, will receive children’s books that will be donated in lieu of the entrance costs to the Orange County Fair on Wednesday, July 24.

Last year nearly 60,000 children’s books were collected as part of the OC Fair’s “We Care Wednesday” promotion and distributed to young children to promote early literacy and extended learning time activities. Orange County Fairgoers who arrive between 12 noon to 4 p.m. will receive free Fair admission and a carnival ride with the donation of one new or three gently used children’s books during the annual children’s book drive.

The 2013 OC Fair, themed Come and Get It, runs July 12 – Aug. 11 for 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun. Those attendees who participate in the children’s book drive that day will get a day full of fun at the Fair and contribute to early literacy and learning all at the same time. Last year’s book donations had an in-kind value of $150,000 and were used to refurbish what has become Orange County’s Book Bank of children’s book.

“We Care Wednesday is one of the programs the OC Fair staff is most proud of as it is an opportunity we provide our Fairgoers to give back to the community,” said Doug Lofstrom, OC Fair CEO. “The book drive is particularly valuable to the community, and last year’s numbers – nearly 60,000 books donated – are impressive. We look forward to a repeat performance with THINK Together on July 24 here at the 2013 OC Fair.”

The largest recipient of the books will be the Children and Families Commission of Orange County’s Early Literacy and Math program, managed by THINK Together. “Research shows that children that are read to early often are more likely to be reading proficiently by third grade,” said Michael Riley, Chair of the Children and Families Commission. “The opportunity to redistribute the thousands of books that will be collected at the OC Fair this year will allow all children the opportunity to have a book of their own and establish an appreciation for reading.”

A total of 120,756 new or gently used children’s books were distributed from July 2012 through May 2013 to children in the Early Literacy and Math center-based programs managed by THINK Together. In addition, books were also distributed to Reach Out and Read clinics (ROR), THINK Together Learning Centers and other nonprofits and school districts countywide.

“We thank the OC Fair and the Children and Families Commission for once again partnering with us in our goal of closing the educational achievement gap in California,” said THINK Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth. “One in three children enter kindergarten lacking the basic pre-reading and math skills that often determine high school graduation and lifelong success. Through these book drives, we are able to distribute much-needed books to children and help them get an early start to their education.”

The Fair annually gives out annually an average of 20,000 tickets for its We Care Wednesday promotions. In addition to the book drive, We Care Wednesday events include a food drive (July 17), a clothing drive (July 31) and a school supply drive (Aug. 7), all sponsored by the OC Fair. More information can be found at The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit, become a fan at, follow at or call (714) 708-1500.

About the Children and Families Commission of Orange County

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County oversees the allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Almost $29 million was allocated last year to fund 161 programs that served more than 136,000 young children. Funds help pay for early education, pediatric primary and specialty health care, children’s dental, homeless prevention, and child development programs for children from the birth to age 5 and their families. The Commission’s goal is to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school. For more information, please visit

About THINK Together

THINK Together is one of the leading and largest nonprofit providers of academic support programs (early literacy, after-school, small group tutoring, summer learning, etc.) in the U.S., serving more than 100,000 students across 420 locations from San Diego to Sacramento. Partnering with school administrators and teachers, its academically oriented programs and dedicated team of 2,500 employees are helping students close the achievement gap. THINK is an acronym: Teaching, Helping, Inspiring & Nurturing Kids. For more information, call (888) 485-THINK or visit or

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Tony Dodero
THINK Together
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