Oregon School Employee Association helps deliver first books

OSEA Central Chapter President Denise Chase, (fourth from right), along with fellow chapter members, helped sort books at French Prairie Middle School in Woodburn.
OSEA Central Chapter President Denise Chase, (fourth from right), along with fellow chapter members, helped sort books at French Prairie Middle School in Woodburn.

Giving a child a book is like planting a seed. Just as a seed grows into something much larger, a book can cultivate a lifelong passion for reading and put a child on the path to lifelong success.

Yet far too many Oregon schoolchildren don’t have adequate access to books. Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) members in various school districts across the state are taking action by teaming up with First Book, a national nonprofit organization that distributes new books to children who need them most. Once a community is able to register 2,000 people, First Book will send a truckload of 40,000 books.

Since originally partnering with First Book in 2012, OSEA members have been able to get roughly 150,000 free, new books into the hands of low-income children. Of that total, more than 80,000 books were delivered this year to children in Sweet Home, Beaverton, and Woodburn. And there’s more to come. OSEA members in Southern Oregon are working on two more First Book registration drives and hope to deliver an additional 80,000 books to kids in their communities later this year.

In the Sweet Home High School gym, about 200 volunteers take a break from sorting 40,000 books.
In the Sweet Home High School gym, about 200 volunteers take a break from sorting 40,000 books.

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