March 07, 2005

Crapo Brings First Book To Magic Valley

Program provides free books to rural, low-income students

Washington, DC â?? One hundred thousand books are due to be delivered this morning to a warehouse in Twin Falls, courtesy of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and a national literacy program.  Crapo partnered with First Book to bring the truckloads of books to the Magic Valley, and will be on hand next month when the books are handed out. Over the next month, preparation will be underway to hand out the books at a kick-off event in Twin Falls on Saturday, June 21st. Crapo will be on hand at that time to assist in distributing the books to children and local organizations. During the week of June 16th, community volunteers are needed to assist in sorting books. â??Literacy is a primary building block for a successful education,â?? Crapo said.  â??When children know how to read with confidence, it opens so many doors for them in education.  First Book has tapped into an important need for those children--ownership of books.  By providing books to children who might otherwise not have that opportunity, First Book creates an invitation to read more.  It is wonderful that the first delivery of 100,000 books will benefit children from Twin Falls, Jerome, Filer, Gooding, and so many others communities in the Magic Valley. The books will be going to all eligible groups that apply, and these can include Title I schools, Targeted Assisted schools, Head Start, public libraries, YMCAs, and other organizations that serve low-income children.  I look forward to hosting more events like this one throughout the state and bringing First Book to other areas of the state.  It's about time Idaho took advantage of such a tremendous program."Since 1992, First Book has been giving away books for children from low-income families. In the last two years alone, the program has provided almost 15 million new books to children throughout the country. First Bookâ??s National Rural Initiative, which operates in conjunction with Scholastic Books, offers rural communities a chance to reach out to children in need and provide them with books. There are currently three First Book Local Area Boards operating in Idaho: Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Shoshone County/Kellogg. To learn more about First Book or to apply on-line, please go to http://www.firstbook.org. The application deadline for this shipment of books is June 9th.# # #