Books for Tots Needs Books for Area Children


“To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.”

If this Chinese saying is true, then the Student National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, many USAO staff, faculty and students and community volunteers have introduced more than 47,500 new friends to area children through Books for Tots. These books would not be possible without the generous donations of community members, businesses, children and service organizations.

For the 14th year in a row, SNEA and KDP are spearheading Books For Tots. The goal is to equip local children with books of their own. To do this, the organizations need donations of new books, gently used books and monetary donations.

“Seeing children engrossed in good books – laughing, crying, learning new information or just using their imagination -- is a wonderful thing,” said Dr. Jeanne Mather, professor of education and founder of Books for Tots. “Unfortunately, there are children in our communities who seldom get the opportunity to experience the adventure of reading a book they can call their own.”

“In addition to more than 47,500 new books, there have been thousands of used books donated to organizations that include Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Grady Memorial Hospital, Santa’s Workshop, Southwest Youth and Family Services, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Chickasha Police Department and the Department of Human Services.

“Books for Tots does more than provide books to needy children. It demonstrates the caring, compassionate nature of people. Thus, the goals of the project are to promote reading, give children the joy of having a book of their own, teach and hopefully instill the value of altruism and community service in our children and, in short, make a difference in the lives of children,” Mather said.

In Dec. 2008, the organization distributed more than 6,110 new books to Oklahoma children, as well as more than 1,200 used books to organizations serving children.

“Our goal this year is to at least match last year’s numbers. With a poor economy and recession, this goal may be difficult to meet. However, in this type of economy, the need is much greater.

“We are working to raise money through donations to purchase books which we will then distribute at Christmas to children in need in our community identified by community organizations such as the Department of Human Services, churches, schools, Salvation Army and Santa’s Workshop.

“All cash donations are spent on the children in the community. The students and faculty at the university all work on a volunteer basis with SNEA absorbing the printing costs. There are no administrative costs,” Mather said.

“Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Through the efforts of many volunteers and countless generous individuals, businesses and organizations, we can once again help many children.”

Donations can be sent to Dr. Jeanne Mather, USAO Education Department, 1727 West Alabama, Chickasha, Okla. 73018. Checks should be made out to the USAO Foundation – Books for Tots.

Donations of new and/or good used books are also welcomed and may be dropped off in the Business Office on the second floor of Troutt Hall or in the Education Office, Gary Hall 106. “If you are unable to bring the books, call us at 405-574-1291 and we will be happy to pick them up,” Mather said.