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First Book of Hood River County gives grants to local groups

The Hood River Valley High School Teen Parent Program received books from First Book-Hood River County on Feb. 14. The Hood River County Children’s Librarian, Jana Hannigan, played the ukulele while the young children and their moms sang and bounced to the music.

The librarian talked about the importance of looking and reading books with their children starting at birth. The young children (all under 4 years) enjoyed opening up the wrapped packages that held five books for them to look at with their parents and take home.

The moms and kids were receiving books from the 2013 First Book grants. The Teen Parent Program is among the groups receiving a grant for 2014, coordinator Nancy Johanson Paul announced recently.

Book grants were awarded by First Book-Hood River County Advisory Board to: Oregon Child Development Coalition (Migrant Head Start), $2,200 (880 books for 220 children); Mid-Columbia Children’s Council (Head Start), $955 (381 books for 127 children); The Next Door Klahre House Alternative School, $360 (144 books for 24 youth); New Parent Services, $500 (200 books for 50 children); HRVHS Teen Parent Program, $200 (80 books for 16 young children); May Street Elementary School English as a Second Language Program, $1,980 (792 books for 165 children); and Hood River County Library Children’s Outreach Program, $375 (150 books for 25 children, ages toddlers to 16 years.) All of the books will be given to children who live in Hood River County.

The First Book literacy community effort is made possible by the volunteer Local Advisory First Book Board, Lions Foundation Trust, Columbia Gorge United Way, and donations from individuals and businesses that support literacy for children birth to 18 years.

The mission of First Book is to eradicate illiteracy by getting books to children who own few books of their own and to inspire a love for reading. Volunteers are needed to serve on the board, advertise the program, write grants, and assist in fundraising efforts.

Tax-deductible donations may be sent to First Book-Hood River County, P.O. Box 221, Hood River, OR 97031.

For details visit firstbook.org or call Nancy Johanson Paul at 541 386-4655.

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