Grand Junction kids are being targeted in the local book drive being spearheaded by United Way of Mesa County.

This is the second year of the book drive in partnership with EPIC (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children) Since 2013, nearly 500,000 books have been distributed to children and families in Colorado.

United Way of Mesa County is asking the public to donate new or gently used children's books ahead of the local book giveaway on Saturday, May 19 from 11 am until 5 pm at Mesa Mall's Clock Court.

I remember learning to read in kindergarten...Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot. You probably remember them, they were like friends you would visit every day. Their lives weren't terribly exciting but for many of us they accomplished their purpose in teaching us to read and that reading is fun.

My second -grade year was not among the favorites of my growing up years, but our teacher, Mrs. Clark, was big on reading and she encouraged us to read as much as possible. I can't honestly say that I read every word of every book I said I read in our reading contest. But, the whole reading experience, I believe, paved the way for my future and helped me to be a better reader, which as it turned out was pretty important to me, considering my chosen profession.

If you would like to help encourage kids to read and want to make a donation for the book drive, you can drop off your books at one of several locations around town.

*Alpine Bank branches
*American Furniture Warehouse
*Bank of the San Juans branches
*Caprock Academy
*CommWest
*Enstrom Candies locations
*HopeWest
*Mesa County DHS
*Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Donations are being received through April 30.