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Feb 2018

2018 BJC Book Brigade Kicked Off February 12

The BJC Book Brigade is back. From February 12-March 19, BJC will collect online book donations to give every public school incoming third-grader in the communities BJC serves a new book to read during the summer of 2018. See a video about the BJC Book Brigade here.

Entering the third year of the BJC Book Brigade, BJC has provided more than 47,000 third-graders with a new book to read during their summer vacation. This year BJC is expected to provide 26,000 books to nearly 400 elementary schools throughout the communities BJC hospitals serve, including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Columbia, Sullivan and Farmington in Missouri; and Alton, Belleville and Shiloh in Illinois.

Studies have shown that a third-grader’s reading proficiency can improve the likelihood they will graduate from high school and live a healthier life.

“We want to encourage reading, knowing it is the foundation of learning and because there is a relationship between educational attainment and health outcomes,” says June McAllister Fowler, BJC senior vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs, who directs the BJC Book Brigade program. “Our BJC Book Brigade is an opportunity for us to champion learning and support our communities.”

The collection process has been simplified this year, with all books being purchased online — there won’t be any bins or collection points at BJC hospitals and service organizations. The BJC Book Brigade program will also be open to everyone, including patients, family and friends.

Everyone will be invited to purchase their book donation online at Each book costs only $2.50, thanks to BJC’s partnership with Scholastic books. All books have been approved by local school reading specialists to ensure they are appropriate for students going into the third grade.

Email Morrisa Marshall, BJC communications coordinator, or email Emily Brasel, BJC communications director, with questions.

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