Friday, June 3, 2016

‘Ashland Reads,’ book donation to Bellview library

Stack of books atop a blue drawstring bag on counter surface. Image and lettering visible on top book in stack identifies it as 'The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy' by David Soman and Jacky Davis. Behind the stack of books, four book-jacket laminate rolls are stood on end

A bagful of books was waiting for me, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Ashland, when I returned to Bellview library after the Memorial Day weekend. The books were donated through “Ashland Reads,” a celebration of literacy.

The seven hardcover picture books are:
  • The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
  • The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
  • The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham
  • Spike, the Mixed-up Monster by Susan Hood
  • This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
  • Wild About Us by Karen Beaumont
According to a post to Facebook by “SOU Honors College,” some teachers and members of Rotary met this fall and chose seven picture books, all hardcover, and then each of the nine first-grade classrooms in Ashland School District received a set of the books. When I came to work on Tuesday, I found a bag with those same seven books in my mailbox in the school office.

From a news account on the website of ABC affiliate KDRV, I learned that the Rotary Club of Ashland funded the event with a $3,500 grant and other club funds.

I also learned that this program was national in scope, that it started in Caspar, Wyo., and that this year’s celebration marked the program’s debut in Ashland, Ore.

The Rotary Club was assisted by Friends of the Ashland Public Library, Treehouse Books and the Interact Club of Ashland (a Rotary-sponsored club for teens).

According to SOU Honors College, the Ashland Reads celebration was also a “Take the Lead Project” for Honors College Scholar Allie Sipe.

I am deeply appreciative for this donation of books, which enhances the library collection. But this event went way beyond donating book sets to Ashland classrooms and school libraries.

As explained by SOU Honors College on Facebook, first-grade teachers read the books aloud to students in December and January, and each child selected his or her favorite book that he or she would like to have.

During a celebration held on May 25 at Southern Oregon University, each child received the book he or she had selected with a nameplate identifying that book as the child’s own.

According to SOU Honors College, 191 children received books on May 25. Just think of the wonderful impact of receiving books for your very own collection. I really think being familiar and comfortable, of being exposed to books early in life, contributes to a child becoming a reader throughout his or her lifetime.

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