Being stuck in the hospital is never fun, but a Bowling Green nonprofit group is kicking off an effort to make those stays a little more pleasant for kids.
Community Education, an after-school care and adult-education program, is holding a two-week children’s book drive starting Saturday. Both Greenview Regional Hospital and The Medical Center will receive books.
“We understand that for children, a visit to the hospital can be an overwhelming experience and we want our pediatric patients as comfortable as possible,” said Sandi Feria, Medical Center director of marketing.
This is the fourth Community Education book drive, but the first that will benefit the city’s hospitals, said Anne Grubbs, Community Education’s enrichment and volunteer coordinator.
The idea to bring the two hospitals into the book drive came from Julie Allen, author of the children’s book “Go Team!,” Grubbs said.
Allen’s 4-year-old twin sons, Jacob and Joshua, were both born prematurely and have spent a lot of time in the city hospitals.
“Being in the Bowling Green hospitals, she noticed a need for things for children who stay overnight to do,” Grubbs said.
Books can be a great way to reduce tension in the hospital for young patients and their parents, Allen said.
“Something relaxing like sitting down and reading a book with your child, it’s amazing what a stress reliever that can be,” Allen said.
Books can help kids escape from the hospital, at least for a little while, Feria said.
“What better way to feel more comfortable, to feel like you’re at home, than to snuggle up with a good book or to read with your parents?” she said.
The books will be a comfort for families as well as the kids, said Kelly Wiseman, Greenview director of marketing.
“Some families unfortunately have to spend hours, days, weeks in the hospital setting, and it’s always nice to have something for the children to help pass that time of waiting,” Wiseman said.
The Kiwanis Club has already pledged $1,000 to buy about 80 copies of “Go Team!,” in which the main character is the mascot of Western Kentucky University, Big Red. Allen is discounting the books to $12.50 from $19.95 for groups buying for the book drive.
From Saturday through Oct. 14, anyone in town can drop off new and “gently used books” at the two hospitals, any Mancino’s restaurant in town, the Barnes & Noble Booksellers on Campbell Lane and any Community Education after-school location, as well as their office on Patrick Way, Grubbs said.
And football fans can donate books at L.T. Smith Stadium during Western’s 6 p.m. game Saturday against Western Illinois.
Besides giving sick kids some comfort, the book drive is important because it encourages literacy, both Grubbs and Allen said.
“I have a real love for reading with my children,” Allen said. “Anything that I can do to encourage other families to have reading as a daily part of life, I want to do.”
The book drive usually collects about 1,000 books, but this year’s goal is 2,000, Grubbs said.
In addition to the hospitals, Community Education will give donated books to groups that work with kids, including The Salvation Army, Barren River Area Safe Space and Court Appointed Special Advocates, Grubbs said.
– For more information about the book drive, call Community Education at 842-4281.
White, Brian (2006, September). Drive to help kids. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/drive-to-help-kids/article_3cdc8f2d-b45b-597c-a57f-f63fd2da3cd2.html