Through a partnership between United Auto Workers Region 3 Local 2382 Women's Committee and Usborne Books, $450 worth of new books are on the shelves in the Head Start classrooms.
The books were donated through Usborne's Literacy for a Lifetime 50 Percent Grant Matching Program. The UAW donated $300 for the books, and Usborne contributed $150, said Usborne consultant Sandy Runner of Fillmore.
"This is the first donation we've done in the area," Runner said.
The South Putnam High School chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) also collected books for the Head Starts program.
"We do a lot of service projects," said junior Heidi Ellison. "We threw out a lot of ideas and collecting books for the kids was the best."
The FCCLA performs service projects all year long. In the three years that Ellison, Laura Pruitt and Victoria Ridgway have been in the club they have had food drives and made pillows for Away Home and collected cell phones for troops overseas. There are approximately 30 students in the FCCLA.
"We hope they will develop a lifelong love of reading," added Ridgway.
The Literacy for a Lifetime program is open to Head Starts, not-for-profits, educational programs, nurseries and hospitals in all 50 states. The receiving organization is notified of the amount of its grant, and the representatives from the organization have full control over book selection.
Usborne is an offshoot of the Educational Development Corp., a publicly traded company. The books are colorful tomes that incorporate activities and puzzles and cover subjects such as hobbies, history, science, nature and foreign languages.