Sat, Feb

Book fairy blesses Head Start

Camp Verde News

Whether people read books on a computer screen, a handheld e-reader or an actual bound dead tree, it’s an enriching experience, or at least an enjoyable exercise for the imagination if the book is good.

Educators have long argued it’s important to foster children’s interest in reading early, when they can pick up reading habits and a love of books that lasts a lifetime.

Camp Verde Head Start DIRECTOR Sokie Chagolla, right, and June Trinidad, the manager of a local shipping business, unpack boxes Oct. 12 containing 700 books, which Trinidad bought for the preschool after running a fundraising drive from her store.The young children at the Camp Verde Head Start program seem to have no problem in that regard, as a cabinet filled with worn-out books with wrinkled covers can attest.

But the educators at Head Start have a new problem. They’re going to need a lot more room.

A program called Toys for Tots for Literacy donated more than 700 books to the Camp Verde Head Start last week, thanks to money raised in Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Prescott and Prescott Valley.

The charity is affiliated with the annual Christmas toy drive for kids promoted by the U.S. Marine Corps, but deals strictly in books.

“We collected the money over a period of time,” said June Trinidad, a Camp Verde-based manager who delivered the books Oct. 12. They came in by the box load, filled with colorful illustrations and titles both new and classic. Most of them are targeted at the prekindergarten crowd, because that’s the demographic Head Start teaches.

The school serves more than 80 children, and a paperback book can only handle so much wear and tear.

Tina Plainbull, a teacher at Head Start, said she was more than happy to find a place to keep the new books. Trinidad said much of the credit goes to Prescott and Prescott Valley for raising the bulk of the money needed to buy the books, bought in bulk from Scholastic, an international book publisher.

Trinidad said Camp Verde Head Start was selected after its application showed the most need for new books.

“We’re in shock,” said Sokie Chagolla, school administrator. Chagolla said they only found out that week the school would be receiving the books.

“We’re always looking for new books,” Chagolla said.

Some of the books will be put aside and taken to the Head Start program in Beaver Creek, Chagolla said.

“Here they’ll learn to handle them and learn how to read them,” Chagolla said.