Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County Conduct Book Drive

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County Conduct Book Drive

Article excerpt 304-348-1232

The Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County will collect new books - - along with monetary donations -- to restock the personal libraries of children affected by the late June flooding along the Elk River. The effort began last Saturday, Dec. 3, at a Charleston mall. It continues this Saturday, Dec. 10. Books, cash and checks will be accepted at a LVKC-staffed table across from the Books-A-Million bookstore on the second floor of the Charleston Town Center, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

"We're hoping to get donations of new children's books for kids in kindergarten through grade five, LVKC Vice Chairperson Susan Leffler said last week. "We'll accept money or checks, as well, and go buy the books ourselves.

"These are for kids who lost the books they had at home during the floods, the Elkview resident explained. "We're going to work with the principal of Bridge Elementary School. They will distribute the books to those students and the students from Clendenin Elementary School who are now going to Bridge. They know who the kids are and what their reading ability is.

Leffler said LVKC volunteers collected more than 100 books in 2015 for children in local hospitals and shelters. "This year, she said, "we decided to focus on the flood kids.

She said the LVKC receives no federal or state funding and relies upon grants and donations to maintain its programs.

Leffler is also a reading tutor with the group. "Our main focus is tutoring, but we do extra things for the community to try to promote reading and literacy. Literacy Volunteers is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that reaches people of all ages -- mostly adults, but we do help some kids to read and write or to improve their skills.

"According to the West Virginia Library Commission, about one in five people in Kanawha County are functionally illiterate. That doesn't mean they can't read at all, but they can't vote or fill out a form at the doctor's office or do more complicated reading. For example, my student was caring for her 2-year-old nephew. He had a cold. She called me to see if she could give some cold medicine she had to a child that young. …

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