Campus: FRESNO -- November 29, 2006

Marketing students collect 35,000 books for ReadFresno

Plans developed by marketing students in the Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno brought in a record number of donated books - more than 35,000 - from businesses, community events, schools, yard sales and libraries to benefit ReadFresno.

The books will be distributed to as part of ReadFresno's program in which community members read to Fresno County elementary school children in an effort to improve their literacy level.

As part of a service-learning project in their marketing classes, this year's Fresno State students exceeded last fall's collection of 30,000 books. Students developed and implemented marketing plans to help build awareness literacy needs and collected books through book drives.

Dr. Skip Sherwood, a retired professor of marketing who is in charge of the acquisition and distribution of books for ReadFresno, is confident the students' effort will have a significant impact on the community.

"Our goal is to purchase, collect and distribute 250,000 books over the next five years," he said. "Combined with the efforts of the hundreds of individuals volunteering as readers, including many of the university's faculty and staff, our community will be transformed as more children are inspired to develop a love for reading."

Marketing students have collected over 40,000 books this calendar year and more than 85,000 books since becoming involved with ReadFresno three years ago.

Recently, 3,000 books were donated to set up libraries at six Fresno community and neighborhood centers. Other recipients include the Boys and Girls Clubs, Reach Out and Read, Early Head Start, CARE Fresno, the Smile Center and 10 elementary schools.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster, University Communications, 559.278.5292 office,

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