Early Literacy Drive Update: An Interview with Melodie Isgro
Happy July! I have some great updates to share about our the Springtime Book Brigade, which kicked off in honor of Children’s Book Week earlier this Spring in partnership with Providence Montessori and Providence Health and Services. I’m thrilled to report that, in just a few short weeks, we collected over 600 new, and gently used, children’s books. We had a great time counting and collecting the books, and used it as an opportunity to talk our kids about the importance of helping other kids in need.
I caught up with Melodie Isgro, a Providence Montessori parent who works at Providence’s Scholls Immediate Care Center. In addition to helping collect books and brainstorm about the idea early on, she volunteered to look into distribution outlets for the books among her colleagues, and within just a few weeks she had an entire reading area setup, complete with bookshelves and signage.
We also created stickers to put on each of the books encouraging families to take a book home with them after enjoying it during their visit to the clinic.
Melodie is eager to share the early success of these efforts: “Now the clinic has two awesome — and well-used — children’s reading areas, one in the waiting room and one back with the exam rooms for parents and children get ex back
wp-image-1048″ title=”Close-up of the books and reading nook” src=”http://www.1oregonmom.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/bookdrive1-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”210″ height=”158″ />to use while they are waiting to see the doctor. They often take a special book they’ve found home with them. The project has been met with lots of enthusiasm and it’s made a positive impact on the clinic environment.”
As I’m always interested in what inspires busy people to step up and get involved, I asked Melodie what motivated her to take action here. “Children’s literacy has always been very important to me. Aside from teaching my own daughter to read, what more can a busy Mom do?”
As it turns out…a lot. Melodie continues, “I was amazed at how just finding one other dedicated person to partner with on a project can make the daunting become do-able. Once the ball gets rolling, it’s equally amazing to see all the others you start to pick up along the way when you are working towards a good cause! People want to be a part of something positive. Someone just has to take the first step!”
Speaking of steps, discussions are already underway to continue our efforts this Fall. ”Even after we officially ended the donation period,” reports Amy Williams, Providence Montessori‘s Enrichment Program Manager, “books continue to come in! We have clearly identified a very real need in our community, and we’re thrilled to be able to help in this way.”
In our house, we’re already starting to set aside a pile of books we will donate to the next round. I’ll share more news as we finalize details, and hope you’ll consider joining us for the Fall Book Brigade…stay tuned!