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Riders Agree: 'A Good Book Is A Good Treat'; 45,000 Donations Collected

In response to our recent book collection campaign, SEPTA customers generously donated more than 45,000 books. Approximately 40 percent were children's books.

The "A Good Book Is a Good Treat" campaign, a partnership between SEPTA and United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, asked riders to drop off new and gently read  books at various collections points conveniently placed at major transit stations.

"We are always touched by the generous spirit SEPTA riders show when we've asked them to help others around the region," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. "We are pleased and grateful for the outpouring of support from our passengers. They have truly given a gift that lasts a lifetime."

The "A Good Book Is A Great Treat" book collection campaign promoted the importance of literacy in our communities. In that reading is the key to learning, providing books to children is particularly important. By participating in the campaign, SEPTA riders showed their support for building childhood literacy.

Jill Michals, President and CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, said: "Reading is important at every age. Up until 3rd grade, kids are learning to read, but from the 4th grade on, they're reading to learn."

Catie C. Wolfgang, Mayor Nutter's Chief Service Officer, said, "In order to meet the Mayor's goal of raising the city's high school graduation rate to 80 percent by 2015, we have to make sure young people fall in love with reading at an early age, so that they have the tools they need to achieve to their full academic potential."

Of the total amount of books collected, 31,500 will be sent to United Way and 12,000 to the City of Philadelphia's Literacy Group for distribution to community centers, homeless shelters, daycare centers and schools throughout our region.

SEPTA customers well know that riding on a bus, train or trolley offers an opportunity to relax and read a good book. To show our appreciation to our customers, 1,500 of the books collected will go to existing SEPTA Customer Libraries located at 28 different Regional Rail Station ticket offices throughout the system. SEPTA libraries provide customers with the opportunity to swap out reading material on an honor system so they can enjoy a good read while riding on the train.

SEPTA will also use some of the books to implement new "libraries" at other Regional Rail stations.

Through their participation in the book collection campaign, SEPTA riders have made it possible for more children - as well as teens and adults - to enjoy a good book too.


SEPTA GM Casey, Mayor Nutter's Chief Service Officer Catie C. Wolfgang, United Way President & CEO Jill Michal and SEPTA Human Resources AGM & United Way Board Member Susan Van Buren.



Debbie Gradner-Lozada, Railroad Service Assistant Director, works with a United Way representative at Suburban Station.



SEPTA employees sort books collected during the campaign.