MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Elementary school students across the state will have books to occupy their time over holiday break thanks to the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services.
The WVU CEHS Holiday Children's Book Drive got underway Monday and will help about 3,000 disadvantaged West Virginia children. A collaboration of the college's alumni association and WVU Extension Service's award-winning literacy program, Energy Express, will collect books throughout the month and distribute them to low-income children.
"Books are very important to a child's educational development," said Mary Beth Sickles, CEHS special events and alumni relations coordinator.
"Disadvantaged children have limited access to books, especially in their homes, and this drive is a way for us to build the inventory of age-appropriate books in rural schools across the state as well."
The drive began Monday. Some 125 books already have been donated, Sickles said.
"We hope to increase our book collections by 500 books this year," Sickles said. "Each year, there is an increase in the amount of books collected through this drive, and I think it is because people want to help others in need, especially around the holidays.
"A book is a gift that keeps on giving in many ways."
The Energy Express program is part of the Extension Service's 4-H Youth Development. It's a six-week summer school program helping rural and low-income children succeed in school.
Books can be dropped off in Morgantown, Parkersburg and Charleston.
Charleston donations can be made at Marshall University's School of Education and Professional Development.