First Book/Wasco County is needing funds to give out fall grants to local literacy programs. Book grants will be given in late September and January 2020.

All funds received go towards books for children through the national First Book Marketplace, www.firstbook.org.

Books cost an average of $3 and are popular books children love to read.

First Book/Wasco County sends all funds collected to the national First Book which is a 501 (3)(c) organization.

Julie Ryan of Family Services, working with First Book/Hood River County, described a home visit she had with a toddler: “As soon as we got in the house, he wanted his mom to read the book to him. He was so excited! He had already been turning pages for a while, but we had been working on encouraging him to point.

“Sure enough, when mom and baby started reading his new book, he started pointing at the pictures, and there was a lovely interaction with him pointing and mom naming the items. Such great early literacy for this little boy, and a developmental milestone reached, thanks to First Book.”

Literacy programs being considered for grants are Chenowith and Colonel Wright Elementary Schools, Mid-Columbia Children’s Council (Head Start), Family Services of The Next Door, Oregon Child Development Coalition (Migrant Head Start) Maupin School, and Dufur Schools (includes Celilo School).

The First Book literacy community effort is made possible by the Local Advisory First Book Board, The Dalles Kiwanis, Northwest Natural Gas, and donations from individuals and businesses that support literacy for children birth to 3rd grade.

The mission of First Book is to eradicate illiteracy by getting books to children from low income families who own few books of their own and to inspire a love for reading.

Volunteers are needed for fundraising and publicity. For more information on this local literacy effort, contact Nancy Johanson Paul at 541 490-5330 or nancypaul@gorge.net.

Tax deductible donations can be sent to First Book/Wasco County, PO Box 82, The Dalles, Oregon, 97058.

Any funds sent to the national First Book office will be used for their nation-wide effort rather than specifically in Wasco County.

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