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Holiday gives gift of reading


December 17, 2007

ASU’s Beta Phi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education’s Office of Professional Field

Experience delivered more than 100 books and bears to four first-grade classrooms at Kenilworth Elementary School in Phoenix Dec. 5. The donation is part of the annual Books and Bears Holiday Drive, which delivers toys and popular children’s books to Valley-area first-graders to help them discover the joy of reading.

“Arizona State University has a mission to be socially embedded in the community and to make a positive impact,” says Karen Kimerer, director of the Office of Professional Field Experience and the chapter counselor to the Beta Phi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. “We believe our Books and Bears Holiday Drive, although small, does make a difference in the lives of many first-graders. For many, it may be the first new book the child owns. We have received calls from parents and grandparents expressing their appreciation and telling us how delighted their child was to be able to take home a book and a bear.”

Each holiday season, volunteers collect donated books and teddy bears from individuals within ASU and the surrounding area, and from local businesses and corporations that support the program.

The donated books and bears are paired, then wrapped and tied in gold ribbon before being delivered to designated schools, where they are presented to the youngsters. During the visit, volunteers model reading to a bear while the children listen. Following the presentation, the students are each given a book and a bear of their own.

“The program reaches children in schools throughout the Valley that accept ASU student teachers and interns on a regular basis and that serve either socio-economically diverse or under-represented students,” Kimerer says.

The Beta Phi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education’s Office of Professional Field Experience have been teaming up for 17 years and, to date, have distributed more than 1,850 books and bears to Valley-area first-graders.

Paula Miller, (480) 727-7262
paula.miller@asu.edu