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Local News

April 21, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Two area educators take part in global reading initiative

Two local educators will be giving away books as part of World Book Night on Monday.

World Book Night, launched in the United Kingdom last year, is being held in the United States this year, and for the occasion, "tens of thousands of people will spread the joy and love of reading" in their communities by giving out free paperbacks, said.

"It's a cool idea," said Sue Murphy, ninth-grade English teacher at Oneonta High School. Murphy said she and Patty Puylara, a licensed teaching assistant at the school, are participating by distributing 20 copies of two books. By Thursday, more than 40 requests from students had been received, Murphy said, so handouts may be conducted through a drawing.

Murphy will give away copies of "Wintergirls" by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Puylara will give away copies of "Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers.

World Book Night, which provides the books, also promotes the value of reading, of printed books and of bookstores and libraries year-round through social and traditional media, the site said. Also, Monday is UNESCO's World Book Day, chosen to recognize the anniversary of Cervantes' death, as well as Shakespeare's birth and death.

World Book Night in the United States, a nonprofit organization, is supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, Ingram Content Group, United Parcel Services, and 15 printers and paper companies and others.

The State University College at Oneonta 27-member baseball team recently went to Fort Myers, Fla., for spring training and a series of 10 games.

Players also took their spirit of volunteerism and outreach to children.

After a March 20 game against the College of Wooster from Ohio, the O-State players cleaned up and went to the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, which is the only comprehensive child health care facility between Tampa and Miami, Geoffrey Hassard, sports information director, said.

Players colored pictures and chatted with children during their visit, which was arranged by Brian Jester, SUNY Oneonta associate athletics director, Hassard said.

"Part of our core mission, even in athletics, is community service," Hassard said. "Giving back is important."

By a score of 4 to 1, O-State lost the game, Hassard said, but a lesson in citizenship was a plus.

Hassard said Steve Lambert of White Plains put the impact of the visit into words.

"Seeing these kids stay positive despite their condition, makes us realize how blessed we are to play a college sport," Lambert reported. "It put everything into perspective."

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