Books donated to Jemison, Maplesville Head Start centers

Eager to read: Students at the Jemison Head Start Center look at books they were given to take home on Thursday.

Eager to read: Students at the Jemison Head Start Center look at books they were given to take home on Thursday.

A donation of books to local children will go a long way toward ensuring they have a beneficial “head start” on their education.

Children in Jemison and Maplesville Head Start programs on Thursday were presented books they will take home to keep, thanks to a fundraising effort by Rebecca Corley with Usborne Books.

“I think getting books into the hands of children is going to be the most important thing for their literacy,” Corley said. “It’s something I’m passionate about.”

Corley solicited donations from local businesses, including McKinnon Toyota Nissa, Clanton Kiwanis Club, Caton Fashion, Cornerstone Fitness and Wellness, Hull and Russell PC and MorLyn’s.

The money was stretched even further because Usborne offers a 50-percent match for donations used for book orders, called the Literacy for a Lifetime program.

Corley said she raised about $1,300, leading to a $650 match from the publishing company. Then, Corley threw in an extra donation to make sure that every Head Start student in the county would have his or her own book to take home.

While local public school libraries have taken advantage of the money match program, Corley said this was the first time she’s worked with an organization like Head Start.

Judging by the reactions of the children who received books Thursday, they were glad she did.

The books given to the children were titled “Night Animals” and “Under the Sea.”

The take-home books were in addition to donations of $800 worth of books for each of the two centers that will remain in the classrooms for use in the years to come.

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