The West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services Holiday Children’s Book Drive is gearing up this season to help approximately 3,000 disadvantaged children across West Virginia.

The book drive, a collaboration of the College’s Alumni Association and WVU Extension Service’s award-winning literacy program, Energy Express, collects books to benefit low-income, elementary school children.

Energy Express, part of the Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program, will distribute a large portion of the books collected. Energy Express provides learning opportunities and nutrition to children living in rural and low-income communities throughout the state during the summer months, when they are most at risk for falling behind on reading levels – a preventable loss known as the “summer slide.”

“Access to books encourages literacy development,” said Diana Kingsbury, Energy Express curriculum coordinator. “Research has indicated to us that many families have two or less age-appropriate books in their homes. Providing reading materials to children with limited access to books will encourage literacy development and provide increased educational opportunities to our most disadvantaged youth. Energy Express places books in the homes of children and we are very excited to partner with the CEHS alumni to increase the number of books that get into the hands of West Virginia’s children.”

Additional collections are being organized in Parkersburg and Charleston: CEHS alumni Dr. Cynthia Gissy, division chair of the education and humanities division at WVU at Parkersburg, and Teresa Eagle, dean of Marshall University’s School of Education and Professional Development, are leading book collections that will benefit McDowell County school libraries and the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg.

Collection dates are Dec. 2 through Dec. 20. New and gently used books can be donated to drop off boxes at the following locations:

• Morgantown Mall, Children’s Play Area
• Black Bear’s Suncrest and Downtown locations
• Healthworks’ Maple Drive location
• 802 Allen Hall, WVU Evansdale Campus
• United Bank’s Cheat Lake, Sabraton and Waterfront locations

The CEHS Alumni Association Holiday Children’s Book Drive coincides with the College’s mission to enhance and improve educational opportunities in W.Va. Last year’s book drive totaled 1,300 books and was distributed by Energy Express Americorps Mentors to more than 50 sites in the state. The CEHS Alumni Association plans to exceed that count in 2013.

For more information about the book drive or the College of Education and Human Services Alumni Association, contact Alumni Relations and Special Events Coordinator Mary Beth Sickles at 304-293-3292 or at



CONTACT: Christie Zachary, WVU College of Education and Human Services

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