More on literacy

I’m going to move a little away from my online role with this one.

I was one of several staff writers contibuting to our yearly Spirit of Giving series this year where we highlight the needs of local charitable organizations.

My assigned topic was literacy. The story ran today on A3 of the newspaper and included comments from local literacy organizations and University of the Pacific student Elizabeth Park. Park and the School of Education Student Association at the Benerd School of Education collected 660 books for Mossdale Elementary School in Lathrop to fill empty library shelves.

This morning I’ve had two more emails about area efforts to improve literacy:

Bring Me a Book

Bob Morrow, the San Joaquin County Regional Manager for the Mountain View-based Bring Me a Book Foundation, said that the foundation did a similar book drive with the Delta College’s Teacher Preparation Pipeline Program Delta College Pipeline club. Pipeline Advisor Sam Hatch said the group is a service and political discussion club. The program collected more than 850 910 “mostly children’s books” and donated them to Bring Me a Book.

“Bring Me a Book has been operating in San Joaquin County for over three years and our mission it to provide high quality children’s books to low-income families and their children,” Morrow wrote. “We identify needy classrooms and place a sturdy maple bookcase and over 30 hard-cover, mostly award-winning books.

“We also provide parent training on the importance of reading aloud to their children on a daily basis. These have been very successful,” he continued.

Hatch, who sent me an email Dec. 21, also gave a synopsis of more work done by Pipeline, which organized the 2008 mayoral debate and Delta board of trustees forums on the Delta campus:

“The students in the club have also collected enough money (roughly $700) to pay for a Bring Me a Book Foundation Mini-Library. These mini-libraries are composed of a beautiful, sturdy Shaker-made bookcase and 76 high quality hardbound children’s books.”

Take a Time Out for Reading

Jim Dugoni, Associate Director of Athletics, also passed along information about a Jan. 23 mass read-in scheduled during an upcoming University of the Pacific basketball game against University of California, Davis.

The read-in will happen during one of the game’s timeouts in the second-half of play. The game will be broadcast on ESPN-U.

In addition, tables for numerous literacy and education organizations will be setup throughout the concourse during the game.

All game attendees are encouraged to bring a new or gently used book to read during the Time Out for Reading. The books can then be donated at collection bin sites and will go to benefit Reach Out & Read San Joaquin, one of the organizations mentioned in today’s news story.

With statistics showing that 23-percent of those 16 last surveyed lacked basic literary skills, it’s awesome that so many organizations in the area are stepping forward to help.

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