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‘Books for Babies’ support appreciated

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Babies start learning from the moment they are born. The Upsilon chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a group of local current and retired women educators, has sponsored the “Books for Babies” project since 1997. Each year the Upsilon women provide book bags to approximately 240 babies and their parents in collaboration with St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson and St. Luke Hospital in Ronan. Each bag contains children’s books, informational materials on early childhood literacy and support for the child’s first teachers—their parents. Some of the books have been provided by HOPA Mountain out of Bozeman, facilitated by Linda Bone from Salish Kootenai College, and others have been donated locally by members. While originally funded by the chapter itself and then by grants, the project is currently funded by generous community sponsors. Not only do both local hospitals help with the distribution of the book bags, they also provided generous donations this year when grant funds ran out. Mark and Jan Andrews of Total Screen Design have supported this project from the beginning with their time and screening expertise at no cost to the chapter to support literacy in our communities. Additionally, libraries from both Ronan and Polson have also provided donations. Along the way, other local donors have also pitched in, including retired teacher Jean Kvande who contributed books through a church grant. Upsilon chapter president Lori McCurdy wishes to thank the community for its ongoing support of this literacy project. She hopes the project will encourage parents to start their children’s love of reading from the beginning.

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