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IFT Local Helps Students Get Free Books


October 24, 2013

Local Teachers Union Helps Suburban Students Get Free Books
West Suburban Teachers Union partners with First Book to deliver nearly 4,000 books in Cicero

CICERO – The faces of Kamille Krupka’s first grade students at Goodwin Elementary School lit up when they were each handed their own book this week, thanks to the efforts of the West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571, through their partnership with First Book, a nonprofit organization.

“We have so many underprivileged children in our community, so it is wonderful that our union is able to help get books into their hands that they can take home and call their own,” Krupka said. “This brings them joy and may help spark a critical interest in reading, which we know is essential for their future success.”

Goodwin Elementary first grade teacher Kamille Krupka presents her student Julissa Cisneros with a free book provided by the West Suburban Teachers Union and First Book.

Nearly 2,000 new books for children in grades PreK-6 were delivered to each Goodwin and Lincoln Elementary Schools on Tuesday. The local union, which represents the teachers and school personnel in Cicero School Dist. 99, partnered with First Book to register its members for the program and qualify Cicero students to receive the free books. Retired Goodwin teacher and Local 571 Vice President Alice Kautsky coordinated the effort.

West Suburban Teachers Union Vice President Alice Kautsky and Asst. Principal Neil Kiewiet distribute free books to Goodwin Elementary first graders.

District 99 Superintendent Donna Adamic noted the importance of the event. “Anytime you can get books to children, that is beneficial. We want our children reading, we want them excited about it, and we want their parents to see how exciting books and reading are for them," Adamic said. "Hopefully, parents will do what they can to add to their home libraries and reading will catch on.”

West Suburban Teachers Union is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), a statewide union that is partnering with First Book to provide free books to students around Illinois. IFT members and leaders recently volunteered to assist with a book bank in River Grove, Illinois, where more than 426,000 books were sorted and shipped. Additional book donations secured through the IFT/First Book partnership will be delivered in the weeks ahead to schools in North Chicago and Quincy.

First Book is a non-profit organization that provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. Nationwide, First Book has distributed more than 100 million free and low cost books to children who otherwise could not afford them. Learn more at


The West Suburban Teachers Union (WSTU, IFT Local 571) represents nearly 6,000 teachers and school personnel in PreK-12 school districts throughout Western Cook and Eastern DuPage Counties, including Cicero, Elmhurst, and Morton. The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents 103,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.




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