Early literacy, as defined by United for Libraries Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, “does not mean early reading instruction or teaching babies to read; it is the natural development of skills through the enjoyment of books”.
Created to promote early literacy among local community children, as well as expose them to the idea of careers in the health sciences – the Book Booth at the AUHS Annual Fair enjoyed another year of great success. With Lieu Suss’ expert planning and support from volunteers Monica Stewart, Almy DeLeon, Saida Lucknasuwan, Concepcion Bonnell, Jennifer Tabadero and Kinda Pineda, the library was able to provide a booth giving away a variety of childrens’ books to the local community.
The AUHS Foundation raised funds to purchase close to 600 new books, including health-themed children’s books like Inside Your Outside, I Want to be a Nurse, I Want to be a Doctor, and Maddie Visits the Pharmacist. Other new books purchased were Pete the Cat, and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,and diversity themed titles such as Round is a Tortilla, Bud Not Buddy, and a Long Walk to Water. The AUHS Foundation also obtained around 350 used books that included many classics as well as newer titles.
Many interested families and children visited the book booth, choosing one used and one new book to take home with them. Favorites were Dr. Suess’ Inside Your Outside, National Geographic’s Planets, and I Want to be a Doctor. Approximately 105 new books and 175 used books were given out to local schoolchildren, as well as tote bags donated by EBSCO, and bookmarks donated by Random House Publishers. The student volunteers and librarian enjoyed helping the children choose books that were age-appropriate and peaked their curiosity.
In addition, the Reading Corner at the fair provided storytimes read by local police officers Lance Nieves, and Joseph Phillips joined by AUHS nursing student Jonathan Jaggers and AUHS President, Dr. Caroll Ryan. They read and the children answered questions on health themed books How Does Your Brain Work, Hear Your Heart, and Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli, exposing children to both health education and the possibility of careers in the health sciences. The children were so engaged, some even stayed for additional readings.
AUHS hopes that this experience will provide a lasting memory and inspiration for these local children to succeed in their futures.