Otowi Station, Los Alamos Rotary Club, and Self-Help, Inc., are partnering to provide free books to 500 local disadvantaged schoolchildren.
The project is part of Self-Help’s “Tools for Schools” program in which the books will be distributed with school supplies for the neediest elementary school children in Los Alamos and surrounding communities, as designated by school counselors.
Members of the community can buy a copy of a book at Otowi Station Bookstore and the Los Alamos Rotary Club will match the purchase with a second book.
The objectives of the “Book of My Very Own” project include encouraging reading among children for whom it might not be a common habit or simple pleasure; instilling the love of books among children whose homes may lack even the simplest reading material; promoting interest in library use among children who may be unaware of the vast knowledge and enjoyment contained in the library; assisting teachers by creating an enthusiasm for reading among the books’ recipients; inspiring lifelong learning among children for whom reading holds the keys to a successful future and demonstrating the community’s focus on literacy.
The project runs from July 1 to Aug. 5.
Rotary President Elect Linda Hull is coordinating the project for the Los Alamos Rotary Club.
“Despite the economic levels attributed to Los Alamos, our community has a demographic of needy families, many of whom cannot or do not provide books for their children,” Hull said. “For many children, books are only an accessory in the classroom.”
Ellen Ben-Naim, children’s book buyer at Otowi Station Bookstore said that about 500 disadvantaged elementary school children will be given an age-appropriate book of their own in hopes that personally owning a book will inspire reading for pleasure.
“Reading is the key to success in the classroom, as well as the beginning of lifelong learning,” Ben-Naim said. “We also hope that visits to the school library, Mesa Public Library, and the bookstore will become an exciting adventure rather than an intimidating experience, and that teachers will find more enthusiasm for reading among the students who receive these books.”
Programs promoting early childhood education and literacy are among the service projects adopted by the Los Alamos Rotary Club.
Self Help, Inc. is committed to enhancing life skills and empowering individuals by providing programs and services that focus on developing self-reliance.
Otowi Station is a full-service independent bookstore serving Los Alamos and the region.
For more information about A Book of My Very Own, contact Otowi Station Bookstore at 662-9589.