October 25, 2004

'A Book in Every Home' campaign under way

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- One of the best gifts parents can give their children is the gift of reading. But in some homes, storybooks are a luxury.

The goal of the drive is to collect enough books so every child enrolled at seven separate area Head Start centers will receive at least one book to cherish, take home and call their own. Some 433 children, ages 3-5, attend the centers in Jackson and Williamson counties."A Book in Every Home," a program designed to provide books to area Head Start pupils, kicked off today (Oct. 25) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and runs through Dec. 3.

Linda Dunn, wife of SIUC Provost and Vice Chancellor John M. Dunn, is heading up this year's book drive.

"Reading together every day encourages a love for books and at the same time offers an opportunity for some quiet time together away from the distractions of television and video games," Dunn said. "Books allow children to explore new worlds, cultures, ideas and people."

Nationally recognized for its success, the SIUC Head Start program is one of only a few university-related Head Start organizations in the country. The program focuses on literacy and school readiness.

"Reading early, and reading often, lays a solid foundation for future success in school," Dunn said.

Drop boxes for the books are at:

  • Information Station, Student Center
  • Law School Library, Hiram H. Lesar Law Building
  • Morris Library, checkout station
  • Student Health Programs, Beimfohr Hall
  • Student Development Office, Student Center (third floor)
  • Chancellor's Office, Anthony Hall (first floor)
  • Woody Hall, bursar payment area

In addition, fans can gain free admission to the Saluki men's basketball game at the Arena on Nov. 7 with the donation of a preschool book.

In choosing a book for young children ages 3-5, please consider the following:

  • Illustrations - Large, clear, colorful pictures that relate to the words.
  • Text - The story should be easy to follow and understand.
  • Design - The pages in the book should be uncluttered. The print should be large and legible.
  • Language - Books written in both Spanish and English are acceptable.


Since the first "A Book in Every Home" during the fall of 1995, more than 25,000 books have been collected.

The campaign meets the aspiration of reaching out to others as outlined in Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the University's development by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For more information on "A Book in Every Home," call the Student Development Office at 618/453-5714.