Great Start collecting used, new children’s books

Published 7:00 pm Monday, March 5, 2012

In honor of National Reading Month, the Berrien County Great Start Parent Coalition is collecting gently used and new children’s books Monday through April 9.

Drop boxes can be found at Chemical Bank locations in Berrien County, as well as the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan offices in St. Joseph and Niles.  The books collected will be donated to various literacy programs throughout Berrien County, including the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary’s Red Wagon Program.

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read,” Marilyn Jager Adams, internationally known for her work with cognition and education said. “Early literacy has also shown to have a significant impact on the reduction of generational poverty.

Not all children have access to books.  Melissa Church, Parent Liaison of the Great Start Parent Coalition, said she hopes the Parent Coalition can help break down that obstacle to literacy.

“We are excited to again partner with the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary, Chemical Bank and the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan to do just that,” Church said.

The Great Start System is a statewide initiative that focuses on early childhood development.