First Book Westminster raised funds, distributes free books

First Book Westminster raised $1,700 for new, free books for distribution to children in Lawrence and Mercer counties during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Under the leadership of First Book President Katie Tomko, Vice President Amanda Leonard, and Secretary Dana Flick, the student organization awarded money for new books to Walker Neighborhood House’s after-school program in New Castle and the Royal Family Kids’ Camp for neglected and abused children.

New books valued at $500 were distributed to children attending Westminster Celebrity Series’ Golden Dragon Acrobats performance on campus last spring.

Funding for the books was raised in collaboration with the New Wilmington Rotary Club and Westminster’s Drinko Center for Experiential Learning, Celebrity Series, Mortar Board honor society, and co-advisers Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor and chairwoman of Westminster’s Department of Psychology, and Dr. Eileen Morelli, associate professor of education.

May graduate Geoff Klein produced a documentary, “The Magic of Literacy,” to share the history and motivation behind First Book Westminster’s first five years.  Visit http://vimeo.com/41883699 to watch the video.

First Book officers for 2012-2013 are Maggie George, president; Nichole Hardt, vice president; Jocelyn McCartney, secretary; and Lauren Sutton, public relations chairwoman.

First Book Westminster was developed to give disadvantaged children the chance to read and own their first new books by developing a team of persons who seek to encourage reading and build resources for literacy efforts in their community.

Contact Morelli at 724-946-6035 or email morellme@westminster.edu for additional information.

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