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December 1, 2003

Campus School Book Fair Benefits Springfield Clinic

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- The Smith College Campus School's 2003 Book Fair provided a special opportunity to help local children gain literacy.

Families who shopped at the Nov. 5 to 7 fair contributed more than $600 to Reach Out and Read (ROR), a national program that provides new books for children through their pediatricians. ROR-trained physicians and nurses counsel parents that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to help their children learn to love reading and be ready to start school.

The Campus School donation will benefit families who participate in ROR through Springfield's High Street Clinic. More than 3,500 new books are given away each year to children in the High Street area, where 95 percent of families live below the poverty level. In addition, "gently used" books are made available in the clinic's waiting room and doctors' offices. Volunteers read aloud to children, demonstrating techniques for looking at and reading books together.

Since 1989, ROR has been working to make childhood language and literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care. ROR founder Dr. Barry Zuckerman notes that "Families who participate in Reach Out and Read are four to eight times more likely to read to their children, resulting in an increase of the children's language development." ROR programs serve more than 1.5 million families nationwide with a special focus on reaching children growing up in poverty.

Founded in 1926, the Smith College Campus School is a co-educational laboratory day school enrolling 270 children from Northampton and the surrounding communities in grades K through six. The school has a regular practice of community service that focuses on a range of local, national and international issues and needs. Projects have included food drives, work with the developmentally disabled, and the collection and donation of supplies to a school in Mexico.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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