Home libraries for Hitchcock Head Start kids, thanks to Home Depot, COM

It took two days, sixteen hours and 10 employees, but 220 bookshelves stand ready for the children at Hitchcock Head Start to take home to launch a library.

“It was fun, especially when the kids come and looked at them,” said Kathy Peterson, an employee at the Alvin Home Depot. “You could see the smiles.”
  
Home Depot employees volunteered their time.
 
“It was teamwork between two stores, League City and Alvin. I thought it would take three to four days, but they did 118 (bookshelves) the first day,” said Glenda Tolliver, manager of the League City Home Depot. “It was motivated by the little ones.”

The project is a collaboration with College of the Mainland, which purchased the bookshelves, provides volunteers to read books each month to children and copies of the book for each child to take home.

“Probably for some of them these are their first books,” said Hitchcock Head Start teacher Darlene Urquiaga.

At the end of the year, each child will own seven books, part of the Scholastic book series.
 
“Each book correlates to a monthly theme. January was African-American Culture Month,” said COM professor Luis Sabido, who is coordinating the COM project. “They are written on their level so they understand.”
 
Funding for the books is provided though the Gulf Coast PASS grant, made possible by Houston Endowment. Awarded to the college in 2012, the grant funds initiatives to increase college readiness.

After students saw the bookshelves, Hitchcock Head Start director Ethel Gaines thanked the volunteers who labored over them.
 
“You don’t know how much it means to our community, our families, our kids.”

For more information on the Hitchcock Head Start Reading Program, contact Sabido at lsabido@com.edu.

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