SIU's Head Start program launches 'Book In Every Home' campaign - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU's Head Start program launches 'Book In Every Home' campaign

Ronda Dunn, chair of the 'Book in Every Home Campaign reading to children at Head Start Center in Carbondale. (SOURCE: Russell Bailey) Ronda Dunn, chair of the 'Book in Every Home Campaign reading to children at Head Start Center in Carbondale. (SOURCE: Russell Bailey)

Southern Illinois University's Head Start program has started its 'Book in Every Home' campaign. 

Ronda Dunn is the honorary chair of this campaign.

“The ability to read is the single most important skill parents of preschool age children can cultivate in the home,” Dunn said. “Reading allows the child to dream. Dreams propel us through life. Having age appropriate books available in the home is imperative.” 

The goal of the campaign is to give each of the 368 children that go to the four Head Start centers in southern Illinois, at least ten new books to take home.

The drive runs through March 1.

Lea Maue, SIUC's new Head Start Director, says the earlier children read and families that reads with them, it will have a great impact on their success in school.

"You want to establish that foundation with the kids, that reading is not a task, that reading is enjoyable," Maue said. "Reading is something you do for fun. Reading is something that your family does together and if you establish that early in life, as early as you know two, three, four years old, then those types of habits will follow them throughout their school career."

The campaign, "Read to me now, and I'll read for a lifetime," will help children ages three to five years old in Head Start centers in Carbondale, Marion, Carterville and Murphysboro.

The centers are located at 1900 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale; Malone’s Early Learning Center, 108 Walnut St., Carterville; 907 N. Vicksburg, Marion, and McElvain Center, 593 Ava Road, Murphysboro. 

“It’s important that we continue to stress the importance of reading to our children and families because reading is important to a child’s success in school and in life,” Dunn said. 

She says the campaign is off to an early start this year and has already received significant donations.

When choosing a new book for young children ages 3-5, administrators ask to please consider the following:

  • Illustrations -- Large, clear colorful pictures that relate to the words.

  • Content -- Books that repeat words or phrases and those with rhyming words.

  • Text -- The story should be easy to follow and understand.

  • Design -- The pages in the book should be uncluttered. The print should be large and legible.

  • Language -- Books written in both Spanish and English are acceptable. 

There are 18 drop box locations on SIU's campus and throughout the Head Start communities. On campus the following locations are:

  • SIU President’s office, Stone Center

  • Chancellor’s office, Anthony Hall

  • SIU Alumni Association, Colyer Hall

  • Intercollegiate Athletics office, 118 Lingle Hall

  • Student Health Services

  • Student Recreation Center

  • SIU Carbondale Head Start Central Office, 1900 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale.

  • Teacher Education Program, Wham Building

  • University Bookstore, Student Center

Other drop box locations are: Bank of Carbondale, Carbondale; First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust locations in Carbondale, Carterville and Marion; First Southern Bank locations in Carbondale and Murphysboro; Murdale True Value & Just Ask Rental, Carbondale; Silkworm, Murphysboro, and SIU Credit Union, Carbondale. 

In addition to bringing books, organizers say tax-deductible monetary donations to buy new books are also welcome. 

Checks can be made out to the SIU Foundation with “Book in Every Home” written in the memo area.

The SIU Foundation address is 1235 Douglas Drive, Colyer Hall, Mail Code 6805, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901. 

For more information on the campaign or Head Start, you can contact the interim Head Starter Director, Linda Flowers, at 618-453-7171.

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