WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Child and family development (CFD) students at Missouri State University-West Plains are collecting books for a new program designed to encourage reading among parents and their children.
Under the direction of instructor Brenda Smith, the students have collected nearly 300 books so far this year for the “Read While You Wait” program. The program provides books, gently used or new, to waiting areas at businesses and agencies where parents and children find time on their hands, giving them the opportunity to share a good book together.
“Providing books in these waiting areas gives opportunities for parents to read to their children or vice versa,” Smith explained. “The program also provides an opportunity to share information about child development and parenting. A book plate with a parent note providing a short message on some aspect of parenting is attached to each book.”
The books are being distributed to businesses and agencies in Howell County, as well as at Shannon Hall, Missouri State-West Plains’ extended campus location in Mountain Grove, she said.
Partners in the project this year include the West Plains Public Library and the Grizzly Basketball team, the latter of which is offering free admission to its Feb. 4 basketball game at the West Plains Civic Center in exchange for a book donation, Smith said. The Feb. 4 collection is taking place along with the collection of farm tools for the Whetstone Boys Ranch as part of the team’s community service project for the evening. Bins will be placed at the entrances of Joe Paul Evans Arena for drop-off that evening, she added.
In addition, bins have been made available at the West Plains Public Library and at Missouri State-West Plains’ College Parent Resource Center at 105 S. Curry St. in West Plains for area residents who would like to donate books at any time.
“An ongoing supply of books is needed to maintain a good selection of books in each ‘waiting’ location,” Smith said. “Individuals may donate books that are not currently in use or a ‘retired’ reading series, which would especially be appropriate, at these locations.”
Students in the Associate of Applied Science in Child and Family Development degree program at Missouri State-West Plains participate in a variety of activities and hands-on learning experiences that enrich their understanding of child and family issues. For more information about the “Read While You Wait” program or the CFD degree program, contact Smith at 417-255-7736 or at BrendaSmith@MissouriState.edu.