The Laguna Beach Unified School District School Readiness Program, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County's and the Think Together Early Literacy Program are collecting gently used books as part of the Bee A Luv Book Drive from Feb. 1 to 14.

The goal of the book drive is to encourage preschool children to read. It's the third year the book drive has been conducted.

"Reading out loud helps a child get a good start at learning. It is the most important way for a child to learn the skills he or she needs for reading and writing," said facilitator Julie Olsen in a statement. "Children begin to understand written language when they hear adults read stories to them and see adults reading themselves. These early experiences with the spoken and written language set the stage for children to become successful readers and writers."

Last year, 1,158 books were distributed. Books can be dropped off at the following locations:

•School Readiness Office located in the Student Services Building (above the Laguna Beach High School pool), 625 Park Ave.

•El Morro Elementary School, 8681 N. Coast Hwy.

•Top of the World Elementary School, 21601 Treetop Lane.

The LBUSD School Readiness team includes school psychologist Grace Jones, School Readiness nurse Kathleen Knott, behavior specialist Luisa Martinez and speech pathologist Tracey Slater.

For more information about the book drive or other School Readiness programs, contact Olsen at jolsen@lbusd.org.

—Alisha Gomez

Twitter: @AGomezBerman