The United Way's Emerging Community Leaders group will be conducting a virtual book drive this month, which will raise money to buy books for kids who visit health care facilities with their parents.
The drive started this week and will continue through Oct. 25, and those who want to donate can do so at http://www.uwayhelps.org/books.
After that date, the group organizing the Prescription to Read Campaign will buy books for $2.50 each and deliver them to local health care facilities.
The group hopes to buy 2,000 books, according to a news release.
"Our program will offer the children of Champaign County a new book when they go to a local health care facility with their parent," the release said. "Then, during the appointment the doctor will use the book as a tool to see if the child's motor skills are developing properly and then after the appointment, the child will get a 'prescription to read' from the doctor," and keep the book.
In Champaign County, teachers estimate that more than 30 percent, and in some cases up to 50 percent, of children are not ready for kindergarten when they arrive the first day, the release said.