Seeing children engrossed in good books, laughing, crying, learning new information, or just using their imagination is a wonderful feeling. Unfortunately there are children in your community who seldom experience the adventure of reading a book they can call “their own.” So, for the 14th year the Student National Education Association (SNEA) and Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society) at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma are conducting a fund drive to provide "Books for Tots." During the last 13 years, through the generous support of local community members, businesses, public school children, and service organizations, we have been able to provide more than 47,500 new books at Christmas for needy children. Additionally, thousands of used books have been donated to such organizations as Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, Grady Memorial Hospital, Santa’s Workshop, Southwest Youth and Family Services, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Chickasha Police Department, and Department of Human Services. "Books for Tots" has been recognized at the national, state, and local levels as filling a vital need. It does more than provide books to needy children; it also demonstrates the caring, compassionate nature of people. Thus, the goals of the project are to promote reading, give children the joy of having a book of their own, teach and hopefully instill the value of altruism and community service in our children, and in short make a difference in the lives of children.
Our goal this year is to at least match last year's numbers. With a poor economy and recession, this goal will be difficult to meet. At a time like this less money is normally donated, and more children need our help. Catch 22! So your help is vital. We have been working all year to raise money, but the next few months are particularly important for us to bring in donations. We will distribute books at Christmas to children in need in your community identified by community organizations such as the Department of Human Services, churches, schools, Salvation Army, and Santa's Workshop. Note that the money raised in your community stays in your community to help your children. We invite you to consider asking members of your organization to bring a copy of their favorite children's book to your next meeting(s), to spread the word to other groups and churches with which they may be affiliated, and/or to make a monetary or new book donation themselves.
All cash donations are spent on the children. As the students and faculty at the university all work on a volunteer basis, with SNEA absorbing the printing costs, there are no administrative costs. A list of contributing organizations/businesses accompanies every book. A donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated for this worthy cause. Please make out checks to: USAO Foundation—Books for Tots. Mail to: Dr. Jeanne Mather, USAO Education Department, 1727 W. Alabama, Chickasha OK 73018. Donations of new and/or good used books are also welcome and may be dropped off at the business office on the second floor in Troutt Hall, or the Education Office in Room 106 of Gary Hall. If you are unable to bring the books, call us at (405) 574-1291, and we will be happy to pick them up. Through the efforts of all involved, we know this year will allow us to help many children.
Dr. Jeanne Mather