Booksellers who donated to the book drive during Winter Institute 12 to benefit Minneapolis-area charities will be happy to know that their generosity was greatly appreciated by the books’ recipients. Hundreds of titles were collected and distributed among three local charities: the Minneapolis Community Education – Adult Education North Campus Day Program, the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Children’s Literacy Program, and the Women’s Prison Book Project.
Darlene Hays, an adult education teacher with the Minneapolis Community Education program, sent her thanks to ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn, who organized the drive, and told her that in February during a morning coffee break the donated books were put on a table for students to choose from. “It was fun to see how excited they were,” said Hays. “I heard several comments of ‘Oh, this looks interesting!’ and ‘Really, I can take this home?’ I also heard many requests to ‘please thank the nice people who gave us these books,” so I hope you can pass that message along to all your ABA members who so generously donated books to our program.”
Lynne Burke, the children’s literacy liaison at Hennepin County Medical Center, sent along thanks on behalf of the center’s providers, staff, and client children and families. “There were 74 wonderful books that disappeared like hotcakes when we put them into the book bins in our Pediatric Clinic,” Burke wrote. “Some did find their way to other locations as well: Douglas, You Need Glasses! (Eye Clinic); Good Morning, Superman (Burn Therapy Satellite, where we have a Somali superheroes fan), and All About Me, An Art Activity Book (Inpatient Pediatrics).”
Burke, who recently asked some of the medical center staff to share their insights into how children’s books impact client families, explained that a nurse practitioner was able to give one of her patients the very first book ever brought into her house. And a Spanish interpreter told Burke that “parents are thrilled to receive a book that they can read to their children, because as parents learn and practice their limited English, they engage with their kids in a way that is new to them.”
“As booksellers know: Every story matters,” Burke’s letter concluded. “We really appreciate being included as a Book Drive recipient.”