USAO Students Join Efforts to Help Kids Get Books
Two student organizations are going the extra mile this year to ensure that area children get to enjoy the important gift of books during the holiday season.
The local chapters of the Student National Education Association (SNEA) and Kappa Delta Pi (KPD) are holding a quilt raffle to benefit the Books for Tots organization.
Through community involvement and volunteer efforts, Books for Tots has delivered more than 55,000 new books directly to children as gifts during the last 15 years.
In addition, the program has donated thousands of used books to Children’s Hospital, pediatric wards, youth service centers, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, police departments, emergency rooms, Ronald McDonald House, women’s service centers and other organizations likely to reach children.
Books for Tots was founded by Dr. Jeanne Mather, professor of education at the University of Science and Arts, in 1995 after being inspired by a student, William Nye, to start a program similar to Toys for Tots, but with an educational theme.
“I knew personally what it was like to not have books in the home as a child,” recalled Mather.
“The first year we got start up money through a National Education Association’s C.L.A.S.S. Grant, along with donations from the community. That year we gave away 650 new books. Last year we distributed 8450 new books.”
“In a recession,” said Mather, “donations are down and need is up so any help will be greatly appreciated.
“When giving thanks for what you have and counting your blessings this week, we are asking folks to remember those less fortunate, and suggest that family and friends bring a children’s book which can be donated to Books for Tots.”
Book donations can be dropped off at USAO in the business office in Troutt Hall or the Education Department in Gary Hall. For pick up call 574-1291.
The 40x48” quilt to be raffled this year was made by Stephanie Conner, vice-president of the Books for Tots organization. The drawing is scheduled Dec. 3.
Tickets are $1 each and can be purchased in bundles of 6 for $5 or 35 for $25. Tickets may be purchased directly from Mather at her office on the USAO Campus in Gary Hall, Room 206a or by calling 574-1291 or 659-3453.
Donations can also be made directly by mail to USAO Foundation- Books for Tots, 1727 West Alabama, Chickasha, OK 73018.