Lugar, ISTA Book Drive Collects 23,000 Books for Reach Out and Read and Local Schools

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) statewide book drive have collected more than 23,000 books to be donated to Reach Out and Read and local schools, with additional donations coming in.

“ISTA is excited to join Sen. Lugar in the Reach Out and Read program. Research shows that putting books in the hands of children from an early age proves beneficial,” said ISTA Vice President Teresa Meredith. “Better readers are more likely to stay in school longer and that translates into advantages for life.”

“Reading with children is essential so that it may enhance their learning, challenge their imagination and open their eyes to new possibilities, and these books will help thousands of children,” Lugar said. “I deeply appreciate ISTA’s partnership in this important endeavor to benefit Reach Out and Read and local schools.”

Reach Out and Read (ROR) promotes literacy as a standard part of pediatric care so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. ROR trains doctors and nurses to stress the importance of parents reading aloud to children and gives books to children at pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age. A special focus is placed on children growing up in poverty. By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, ROR helps families and communities cultivate early literacy skills so that children enter school prepared to succeed at reading.

Senator Lugar and the ISTA thank individuals and the following partners for their participation in the book drive: Aboite Elementary School-Fort Wayne, Better World Books, The Bookmark, Christian Theological Seminary, The Circle Tower Building, Duneland School Corporation, Evansville Teachers Association, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Fort Wayne Komets, HealthLinc Community Health Centers, Hyde Brother’s Book Sellers, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Pacers Foundation, Indiana’s Parent Information & Resource Center, IU Medical Group Primary Care, J. R. Moore Realty, Market Tower, The Mercy Foundation, Inc., Merrillville School Corporation, Mitchell Books, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women ­ Indianapolis, Persian Temple #46, Portage Township School Corporation, Porter Township School Corporation, Ruth Lilly Health Education Center, Starbucks ­ Monument Circle, St. Mary College ­ Notre Dame, Indiana, St. Vincent Foundation, and Village Books.

Lugar’s education website, EducateIndiana, explores issues faced by parents, teachers and students. The purpose of the website is to share constructive ideas about education and offer students, parents, teachers, and administrators education tools that can be used both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition, Lugar and the ISTA established a web-based initiative to recognize teachers and celebrate their vital role in preparing our future leaders.

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar with Teresa Meredith, Vice President of the ISTA, and Nate Schnellenberger, President of the ISTA, with books donated as part of the Lugar-ISTA Children’s Book Drive.