Book drive donations benefit children

Published 5:52 pm Monday, March 12, 2018


For the Daily News

Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children is looking for a few good books, and the organization is turning to the community for help.

The partnership has placed donation boxes in area churches and other community partners, and donations of new or gently used children’s books may be made through the end of March. People who do not have access to a donation box at a church or other site may also bring books to the partnership’s office at 979 Washington Square Mall, according to Kris Bowen, literacy and outreach coordinator for the partnership. The office is on the side of the mall facing U.S. Highway 17 Business.

“Studies show that children perform better in school when someone reads aloud to them at least 15 minutes a day beginning at birth,” said Lisa Woolard, executive director of Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children. “But we have found that, unfortunately, many families do not have books in the home, and we want to see that change.”

The partnership has been running book drives for the past four years, and more than 10,000 books have been donated and then placed directly back in the community for families to enjoy, Bowen said. Area churches have assisted in the effort each year.

“Every year, we need more books to share with families, so please take some time to do a little spring cleaning and donate a few books for other children to love,” said Woolard.

The partnership is accepting new churches and community partners that want to get involved in the book drive, and dates can be flexible, Bowen said. If a church or other organization has a conflict during the month of March, arrangements can be made for donations to be collected at a later date.

State Sen. Bill Cook, the book drive spokesman, encouraged community members to take part. “When parents read aloud to young children every day, they are improving their child’s readiness to read and learn,” Cook said. “Time spent reading together as a family serves as the foundation for giving our children the best start.”

Donated books are distributed to families or placed in waiting areas where families are often receiving services. Many books are placed in the 40 Read and Return Book Boxes located in businesses and organizations throughout Beaufort and Hyde counties. A few sites include: Pamlico Animal Hospital, Medical Park Pharmacy, Fitness Unlimited, Ruff Cuts, Beaufort County Department of Social Services, Beaufort County Health Department, Coastal Pregnancy Center, Vidant Beaufort Hospital’s emergency room, Amy’s Tienda, One Stop Hair Styling, Vidant Family Medicine–Aurora, Hyde County Department of Social Services, Martelle’s Feed House and The Farmer’s Market and Grill.

“Families are encouraged to enjoy books from any Read and Return Book Box and then later exchange a book for another story to enjoy,” said Woolard.

Books are also available in Reach Out and Read medical clinic waiting areas where children also receive free age-appropriate new books at well-child visits between 6 months and 5 years of age. Clinics include Washington Pediatrics, Vidant Family Medicine-Chocowinity, Vidant Multispecialty Clinic in Belhaven, Agape Community Health Center, Hyde County Health Department, Ocracoke Medical Center and Engelhard Medical Center.

The books collected during the book drive are also given to families attending local festivals in Beaufort and Hyde counties and during pre-kindergarten screenings and open-house events.

Organizations interested in participating in the children’s book drive may call Bowen at 252-975-4647, ext. 7.