May 03, 2016

Media Advisory - ‘Book in Every Home’ distribution

Nearly 5,000 books will be distributed this week to 368 children in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Head Start program as part of the “Book in Every Home” program. 

Children and their parents will receive the books Wednesday through Friday, May 4-6, at the Head Start central office, 1900 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. Children ages three to five attend Head Start Centers in Carbondale, Carterville, Marion and Murphysboro. 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are invited. Head Start personnel and parents of children in the program will be available for interviews. Distribution times are 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 4, and Friday, May 6, and 2 p.m., Thursday, May 5. 

Program Director Lea Maue said she is pleased with the “Read to Me Now and I’ll Read for My Lifetime” campaign and the generosity of university employees and local businesses. Barnes & Noble Booksellers donated 1,947 books, and 2,068 books came from a First Books Book Grant. University employees and the community donated the remaining books. 

“This is the first year of participation by Barnes and Noble, and we were thrilled with the number and quality of books donated,” Maue said. “We sincerely appreciate their generosity and hope they will continue as a contributor in the future.” 

The school year ends for Head Start students on May 12. Maue said the books promote reading to and with the children daily over the summer to prepare them for kindergarten or for next year’s Head Start program. 

“Head Start believes that the parent is the first and most important teacher of the child.  Reading together is one of the most significant things you can do with your child; it allows close bonding time while teaching children sound and letter correlations and language mastery,” Maue said. “Ultimately, it helps lay the foundation for academic excellence for the children as they transition to kindergarten.” 

Longtime educator Ronda Dunn, wife of SIU President Randy Dunn, was once again chair for this year’s drive. 

For more information, contact Maue at 618/453-7171.