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January 12, 2014

Smart Start gives Head Start gift of books

DUNCAN — To give children an edge, a headstart, Stephens County Smart Start used grant funds it received from Cotton Electric to purchase books for area Delta Head Start children.

In fact, Smart Start received $750 to purchase books to supply all pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children with books. On Friday, Delta Head Start children at Irving Pre-Kindergarten were given two books through the grant program.

“If they have books at home, somebody might read them,” Julie Sanders, director of Stephens County Smart Start, said.

The United Way has also provided Smart Start with a grant. The $500 stipend was used to purchase 1,700 books to supply even more children with books.

Sanders said there are more grants to come to supply even more Stephens County children with books. Her goal is to also supply all first-graders in the county with books.

“I have made contact with all of our elementary schools,” Sanders said. “I want children from zero to 6 to have their own books at home.”

At Irving, Delta Head Start classes gathered in the school gym and were introduced to Sanders. Then, one by one, the classes were led past Sanders as she handed students their books.

Sanders said she was in contact with the Delta Head Start program to determine which books to purchase for the students. She said the books selected were age appropriate.

“I coordinated heavily withg Delta Head Start,” she said.

After students were given their books, Sanders encouraged students to look their their “Curious George” books to find the Man in the Yellow Hat.

Students continued this trend to also find George and to look through the other book they received.

Upon introduction to the students, Sanders inquired which students like to read. Several hands went up. When she asked which students like “Curious George,” all hands went up.

Sanders said she’s glad she was able to provide books to the students and looks forward to continuing to do so throughout Stephens County.

Once she was done at Irving, Sanders had plans to travel to Marlow and to Will Rogers Pre-Kindergarten to deliever more books.

“We will have books for all of Stephens County,” she said.

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