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On the Bright Side

December 4, 2012

Kids book fair to boost Bassett pediatric dept.

A book sale in Oneonta this week will promote reading for children and benefit the local pediatric clinic of the Bassett Healthcare Network.

A Scholastic Book Fair will be held at Bassett’s 125 Main St. offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Martha Messner, a licensed practical nurse at the Oneonta clinic, said. The sale is open to the public and will generate funds for books, which will be donated to the pediatric department, she said.

This year’s sale is the 10th annual event, Messner said Sunday, and each year the effort has raised between $800 and $1,100 toward book purchases. Books have been donated to a Head Start program and an elementary library, among other recipients, in previous years.

Messner said staff, patients and visitors may buy books during the fair or order them for later pickup at the clinic.

According to the Scholastic website, the company delivers books to participating to fair sites in easy-to-access cases with titles arranged by age or grade level. At the end of the fair, the sponsoring school is awarded a percentage of the revenue or books and educational materials.

Messner said the fairs usually are presented by schools, but she lobbied for participation citing Bassett as a teaching hospital.

Messner said this year’s donations of books will be in memory of Dr. Maureen Micek, who was a pediatrician at the pediatric clinic.

Scholastic partners with Reach Out and Read, a national program to provide very young children with books.

At Bassett’s Oneonta Health Center, a Reach Out and Read program has been in place since 1999, officials said, and was started by Dr. Lisa Mooney, a pediatrician.

Leah Summers, manager of the Bassett Healthcare Network Oneonta Health Center, said the pending book donations will be appreciated. At the pediatric clinic, children are given books to keep when they visit the clinic for an appointment, she said, and the book sale project will help replenish the gift shelves.

“Can you imagine, every child given a book?’’ Summers said Monday. “I don’t think there’s anything more important for a child than a book.’’

Reach Out and Read builds on the relationship between parents and medical providers to develop early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age, the program’s website said. Started in 1989, Reach Out and Read today partners with about 5,000 sites nationally and distributes 6.5 million books annually.

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