Teaming up to provide free books

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 Otowi Station, Los Alamos Rotary Club and Self-Help, Inc., are partnering to provide free books to 500 local disadvantaged schoolchildren. 

The books will distributed with school supplies for the neediest elementary school children in Los Alamos and surrounding communities, as designated by school counselors. The project is part of Self-Help’s “Tools for Schools” program.

Members of the community can buy a copy of a book at Otowi Station Bookstore and 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 will run from July 1-Aug. 5.

Linda Hull, coordinator of the project for Los Alamos Rotary Club said, “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. For many children, books are only an accessory in the classroom.” 

Ellen Ben-Naim, children’s book buyer at Otowi Station Bookstore said, “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. 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.”