November 19, 2009

Bookseller helps with ‘Book in Every Home’ drive

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s annual “Book in Every Home” campaign is kicking off with an assist from a local bookseller.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers is setting aside Saturday, Dec. 5, as a day that patrons can use that day’s purchases to help the 433 children enrolled in six area Head Start centers. On that day, patrons can present a voucher prior to their purchase, with a percentage of the net sale presented to “Book in Every Home” to buy additional children’s books. The voucher is available online here or in the Fliers Row section of the University’s Saluki Times. Click on the corresponding flier to print a copy of the voucher and present it Dec. 5 at Barnes & Noble.

In addition, Erika Lowery, campaign chair and wife of SIU men’s basketball coach Chris Lowery, will host a special reading at the store at 10 a.m., Dec. 5. The store is at 1300 E. Main St., Carbondale. Also expected to make an appearance are SIUC athletes and Grey or Brown Dawg.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the Saturday, Dec. 5, reading at Barnes & Noble with Erika Lowery and SIUC athletes. For more information on the Head Start program, contact Cathy J. Reed, SIUC Head Start director, at 618/453-6448. Editors note: Please include the Nov. 25 women’s basketball game, Nov. 28 men’s basketball game, and the Dec. 5 event in your respective community events calendar.

Cathy J. Reed, director of SIUC’s Head Start program, appreciates the community’s continuing support. The goal of the drive is to collect enough books so that each of the children enrolled in the Head Start centers receives at least one book to take home and call their own. Children ages three to five attend Head Start centers in Carbondale, Carterville, Johnston City, Marion, and Murphysboro.

“Last year, the contributions from the SIUC community and the community at large provided 433 children with four booksto take home and keep for their very own,” Reed said.

“We are particularly excited about this year’s campaign and having a book fair at Barnes & Noble. During these challenging economic times, community individuals will be able to contribute to the book collection when purchasing their holiday gifts,” she said. “This is an additional opportunity for the community to support the drive. Providing books to children enrolled in our program supports the program’s mission to provide comprehensive school readiness.”

The nationally respected program is in its 39th year. It is one of only a few university-related Head Start programs in the nation. The program focuses on meeting the social, intellectual, emotional and physical needs of preschool children from income-eligible families.

Jean Modglin, manager for Barnes & Noble in Carbondale, said the store and the Head Start program have a long relationship. The collaboration with the Head Start program is part of the company’s community partnership program, she said.

“We’ve always tried to be the community book store,” she said. “I’ve always been a strong advocate for promoting literacy, especially family literacy, where parents and children together share a love of reading. Head Start is a wonderful place to begin that.”

Over the last 14 years, members of the SIUC community and the community at large have donated or provided funds to buy more than 33,000 books. The goal this year is to collect at least 2,500 new preschool books by Dec. 18.

Lowery is excited about the prospects for this year’s drive. In addition to the Dec. 5 event at Barnes & Noble, Saluki men’s and women’s basketball fans have the opportunity to win great gifts when they donate a book at selected basketball games later this month.

Fans who bring a book to the Wednesday, Nov. 25, women’s game against Western Michigan or the Saturday, Nov. 28, men’s game against University of Illinois-Chicago, will receive a raffle ticket. The ticket gives fans the opportunity to win one of three prizes at that game -- an autographed basketball, autographed media guide, or T-shirt. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. at the SIU Arena.

“I’m excited we are doing something a little different this year and giving people the opportunity to participate in a raffle,” Lowery said. “Hopefully that will encourage people to donate more books. And working with Barnes & Noble will hopefully allow us to purchase more books through the discount.

“Barnes & Noble is always willing to help us with anything we need,” said Lowery, who also helps delivers books to the children at the centers once they are collected.

Lowery said that she and her husband stress the importance of reading to their children. The couple has four children, ages 15, 9, 8, and 5. She emphasizes it is important that children become excited about reading when they are young.

In choosing a new 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.

Drop boxes for the books are at the following campus locations:

  • Chancellor’s office, Anthony Hall.
  • Law school library, Hiram H. Lesar Law Building.
  • Student Center Information Station, first floor.
  • Student Development Office, third floor, Student Center.
  • Student Health Services, adjacent to the Student Recreation Center.
  • Woody Hall, bursar’s payment area.
  • Colyer Hall.
  • Coach Chris Lowery’s office, Lingle Hall, adjacent to the SIU Arena.

A book drop location also will be set up at Murdale True Value & Just Ask Rental, 1915 W. Main St., Carbondale, and at First Southern Bank locations in Carbondale and Murphysboro.

In addition to bringing books, tax-deductible monetary donations to buy new books are also welcome. Checks should be made out to the SIU Foundation with “Book in Every Home” written in the memo area. The SIU Foundation address is 1235 Douglas Drive, Colyer Hall, Mail Code 6805, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901.