By Nancy Young
SPRINGBORO - Third-grade students at Clearcreek Elementary School are about to learn the importance of philanthropy, thanks to participation in the "Half Pint School Book Drive," sponsored by Half Price Books.
The Half Pint School Book Drive runs Feb. 2-13. Local school librarians and administrators are being asked to hold on-campus drives, enabling students to donate new or gently used children's books. All donations will be given to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
"Many of our students purchase monthly book orders," said Heather Krohn, third-grade teacher at Clearcreek and coordinator for the program at her school.
"Seeing a commercial for the Half Pint School Book Drive made me think about how many books they must have at home that they have read and are finished with. I thought this would be a great way for the students to share their love of books with other kids."
In this case, it would be children who endure long hospital stays.
"Having a good supply of books can really make a difference in helping children take their minds off their treatment or being confined to the hospital," said Kelli Johnson, public relations specialist for Half Price Books.
"However, we know that most facilities simply don't have the resources to pay for this type of program."
The program is a hit at Children's.
"We use the books in the hospital, outpatient areas and satellite facilities in Mason, Fairfield and Eastgate," said Sharon McLeod, director of child life for the hospital. "If a child becomes attached to a book, we encourage them to take it home."
Half Price Books initiated the Half Pint School Book Drive in 2003, when 50 schools across the country donated more than 40,000 books.
How to help
The Half Pint School Book Drive is an offshoot of Half Price Books' annual Half Pint Library Program, established in 1999. It runs Feb. 2-13.
Consumers may donate new and gently used children's books to any Half Price Books location, including stores in Colerain Township, Kenwood, Mason and Tri-County.
The books are distributed to hospitals, community centers, special needs and low-income schools. More than 1.2 million books have been donated since the Half Pint Library Program's inception.
School administrators may register for the book drive by visiting Web site.
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