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Young readers give books to future readers

By Staff | May 27, 2016

Second graders at Saint Joseph School in Martinsburg are sharing their love of reading with Jefferson County’s newest residents. The students donated more than 200 new board books to First Books for Babies, an organization that provides books and literacy information to the parents of every baby born at Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson.

Michelle Cody, who spearheaded the book drive, said the students were excited to help the community.

“We teach them that they are never too young to make a difference,” she said. Many of the children choose titles that had been their favorite when they were toddlers.

First Books for Babies was founded on the idea that children are never too young to begin the journey to literacy. The organization’s president, Shepherdstown Elementary teacher Monica Grabowska, said research shows that there are benefits to reading to even the very youngest babies.

“You are not trying to teach the baby to read, but you are setting the stage for reading, and at the same time you are fostering a positive emotional connection to books–and between parent and child.”

“We are very thankful for the generous donation these students have made,” Grabowska said, “and we commend them for their community service spirit.”

Grabowska said the project depends on donations from the community. Organizations and individuals that would like to help can contact her through the Shepherdstown Public Library.