A program designed to aid families without permanent homes helps children get the necessities of life including clothing, soap and toothpaste.
One essential the Children in Transition Program doesn't provide - but soon will - is books.
"It's a necessity to have a child read," Director Kim Riggs said. "I can provide them with shoes, but to teach them to read is something they can come back to and use in their futures."
The Carson Valley Life Member Club of the Telephone Pioneers of America is coordinating an effort to collect at least 1,200 books to provide each homeless child with three books to read over the course of the summer.
"These kids don't have permanent addresses, so therefore they can't check out books from the library," said Lee Radtke, the club's chairman to the Children in Transition program. "Since they can't necessarily afford to buy new books, we decided if we would recycle old books we would be helping out the educational process."
Radtke said he hopes to reach the target by May 5 so the books can be distributed to the children before summer starts.
"Basically, the objective is to provide books to children in transition to help them improve their reading skills and give them something to read over the summer," Radtke said. "You work all year trying to get their reading skills up and if they don't read all summer, they tend to fall behind."
The organization has set up various avenues to obtain books and educational games to distribute to the children.
They plan to organize book drives at the different schools as well as encourage local clubs to have book drives.
Riggs will work with each school to determine which children will receive the books and games.
Grants coordinator for the district Valerie Dockery said the program is worthwhile.
"I think as important as it is that we provide for their physical need, it is also important that we provide for their educational needs as well," she said.
Radtke said by helping the children become literate, he hopes to change the future.
"I feel that it's important to help these children," he said. "If we don't all step up and help them, how are we going to change their direction for the future."
Last month, the club donated 4,500 items of clothing to the Children in Transition program. Radtke said past experience with them only makes him want to help more.
"With all the stuff we've done for them, so far they've been so appreciative," Radtke said. "It makes you feel good to help them out."
All extra books will be donated to school-sponsored reading clubs or students.
You can help:
If your club or organization would like to serve as a drop-off point or collect books, call Lee Radtke 885-8166.
Drop-off points for the books are:
- Carson City School District Office
- Fremont Elementary School
- Mark Twain Elementary School
- Gleason School Facility
- Big O Tire
- Telephone Pioneer Club members
- Karson Kruzers Club members
-Total Computer Services
- Carson Valley Quilt Guild members
- Carson City Hall
- Carson Dodge Chrysler