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Caribbean Literacy Exchange Begins Holiday Book Drive for Children

Dec. 3, 2008 – Caribbean Literacy Exchange kicked off its first holiday book drive on Dec. 1, to benefit under-resourced childcare centers that have few or no books for children. Scotiabank and Dockside Bookshop, community partners in the initiative, request new or gently-used picture books for children ages birth to 5. They can be dropped off at any of the seven Scotiabank branches located on St. Thomas and St. John. Dockside Bookshop is offering a 10 percent discount on new books purchased for the drive. Books will be collected all through December.
“Our goal is to tap into the spirit of giving in our local community and to collect 2,500 picture books for vulnerable children. Research demonstrates that one strategy to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print,” said Beth Marshall, early literacy expert and co-director of the nonprofit organization.
In addition to providing free books, Caribbean Literacy Exchange is planning to offer literacy training to professional educators and parents. “Access to books is just the first step in promoting early literacy development. Parent and teacher education is critical to creating measurable change in school readiness and later reading proficiency,” she said.
For community members who prefer the convenience, monetary contributions can be sent to Caribbean Literacy Exchange, 5150 Dronningens Gade, St. Thomas, V.I. 00802. The funds will only be used to purchase high-quality books from a nonprofit source of low-cost books.
For more information, call 777-READ (7323).

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