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In 2013, Soho gave away over 50,000 quality, hardcover children's books - including 30,000 books to Head Start, 10,000 books to UVa Children's Hospital, and thousands more books to other child-related programs.   All to support children's literacy.

In 2014, we gave away over 150,000 children's books - including another 52,000 to Head Start, 60,000 to UVa Children's Hospital, over 15,000 to Culpeper Hospital, over 15,000 to the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and tens of thousands of books to early childhood programs, after-school programs, and family child care homes across the state.

For information on Soho's current and planned
 Children's Literacy Book Giveaways - Please Click Here

The Soho Center actively promotes children's literacy.  We want infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and school-age children to have an alternative to television - to have the chance to enjoy looking at quality children's books, hearing them read aloud, and practicing their early emerging reading skills. 

One of the ways we do this is give away tens of thousands of quality children's books to programs and organizations which serve low-income children - including Head Start programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, kindergarten classrooms, family child care programs, free clinics, and public libraries - all as funding and donations allows. 

Soho's Past State-wide Book Giveaways

In addition to providing extensive information about improving children's literacy on our National Children's Literacy Website, the Soho Center has selected and given away thousands of packets of quality children's books to family child care providers across the state to promote children's literacy, school readiness, and school success.

Soho's Past Regional Book Giveaways

Soho Supports Regional Literacy Efforts with Skyline CAP

Keeping with our tradition, the Soho Center has again donated a large collection of quality children's books to Skyline CAP's Head Start program which serves families in six large rural counties.

The Soho Center's books will be used by Head Start teachers in each classroom for group storytimes, and all of the books will be displayed on Head Start's easy-to-reach book shelves for every child to enjoy each day.

Simon Fiscus, Director of Skyline CAP Head Start, says, "We so appreciate the Soho Center's on-going donations of children's books to us. Head Start provides a very needed, educational program for low-income children.  We help prepare them to enter school better able to read and succeed. Having daily opportunities to look at good picture books and to listen to age-appropriate and appealing stories really makes a difference."

Adds Jeanna Beker, Soho Center's Director, "We know how important it is to help young children in their first five years. For instance, research has shown that low-income children enter kindergarten having heard 30 million less words than children from more affluent homes. By giving Head Start classrooms collections of quality children's books, we're helping children gain needed language skills.  We're helping children increase their attention span, learn more about their world, and start to understand that there's a link between spoken words and written words.  And we're helping young children become interested in books and learning to read - an essential foundation for future school success."

In addition to the Soho Center's Book Giveaways to programs that serve low-income children and families, the Soho Center promotes children's literacy with easy-to-understand literacy tips on their National Children's Literacy Information website.  Parents, grandparents, teachers, childcare providers and staff can Google "children's literacy" and the site comes up #1.  The website provides advice about selecting children's books, reading to children, and using the library along with ideas for daily educational, fun activities that support children' learning, school readiness, and school success.

Kim Frye Smith, Skyline CAP's Executive Director, sums up the partnership between Skyline CAP and the Soho Center saying, "We're fortunate to have the Soho Center as a resource.  We know there's a need to help low-income children and families, and in this difficult economy, there's a growing need.  Every day of the year, Skyline CAP provides important Head Start services to children along with needed support services to their families and many other low-income individuals.  Every day, we work to make a difference, and we so appreciate community support and the Soho Center's thoughtfulness and generosity."

Soho Collaborates with Culpeper Literacy Council at Head Start

The Soho Center is partnering with the Culpeper Literacy Council to promote family literacy in Culpeper.  This week, the two non-profit organizations coordinated a donation of over 500 books to Culpeper's Head Start program.

"We're just thrilled to receive this book donation," said Dorenda Pullen, Director of the Culpeper Human Services Head Start.  "We want our children and our families to have good books to read and to spend time reading each day.  Thanks to the Soho Center and the Culpeper Literacy Council, we've got so many new books to enjoy."

Adds Kate Ashby Chiles (above right), Director of the Culpeper Literacy Council, "The Family Literacy Program was created this year to meet the growing needs of families in Culpeper.  We're thankful that the Soho Center has joined with CLC to help promote family literacy in the Culpeper community." Adds Jeanna Beker, Soho Center's Director, "It makes total sense for us to work together. We all agree that literacy is important.  We all want to play a positive role so that children and parents can read and succeed.  And we welcome community involvement and support for our programs."

Soho Donates Books to Boys & Girls Club

The Soho Center donates a New Year's gift of over 100 books to the Boys & Girls Club of Orange which serves
155 youth from Orange, Madison, Culpeper, and Louisa. 

According to Jeanna Beker, Director of the Soho Center, "We're always looking for ways to promote
children's literacy and to make reading enjoyable and educational for kids of all ages."

Adds Sheila Donnelly, Director, Boys & Girls Club of Orange, "We greatly appreciate the Soho Center's
generous donation of children's books, including fairy tales, adventure stories, books about animals
and science, and craft books.  The Soho Center has also given us a diverse set of 'how-to' books so
our Club Members can read them and learn how to do everything from make paper mache crafts,
play marbles, do origami, and crochet.  Our members will love these hands-on projects!  And the
multiple copies of fiction books will allow our Club Members to participate in small book clubs,
discuss the books with each other, and reinforce their reading-for-pleasure skills.

Soho Donates Clothing and Books to Skyline CAP

Kim Frye Smith, Executive Director of Skyline CAP, accepts donation of quality children's clothing and books from Jeanna Beker, Director of the Soho Center. The Soho Center's donation will be used by Skyline Community Action Program's Outreach service and Head Start Program to help some of the area's neediest children.

According to Kim Smith, Skyline CAP Executive Director, "Our programs are often supplemented through generous donations of children's books and seasonal clothing from the Soho Center.  This latest donation includes early childhood books which we'll use in our Head Start classrooms throughout the school year to provide enjoyable reading experiences.  Families participating in our programs appreciate the wonderful variety of children’s clothing donated by the Soho Center.  It’s always a meaningful way to help out .”

Adds Jeanna Beker, Director of the Soho Center, "We want all young children to have their basic needs met and to enjoy age-appropriate educational experiences each day.  That's why we're pleased to again give books and clothes to Skyline CAP's Head Start classrooms and families."

Skyline Community Action Program, the area's only community action agency, provides access to limited emergency assistance, educational, and housing programs to lower income families and individuals in Madison, Greene, and Orange counties. Skyline CAP's Head Start Program offers comprehensive services to approximately 181 pre-school children and their families in Madison, Greene, Rappahannock, Warren, Page, and Shenandoah Counties.  Last year, over 1900 residents benefited from services offered through Skyline CAP.

Soho Donates Holiday Books and Bears to Madison County Library

For children of all ages, the coming Holidays are a special time - and a great time to read books with Holiday themes. Says Jeanna Beker,  "Over the years, the Soho Center has supported the Madison Library with donations of computers and monitors.  Now that the Library has expanded its facility, we can actually donate BOOKS!"

The Soho Center has selected a variety of quality children's picture books for pre-schoolers, beginning readers, and older children that feature winter and Christmas Holiday themes.  Adds Beker, "We love to make reading enjoyable for children, and each of these books is especially wonderful at this time of year.  There are beautiful stories and illustrations, recipes, songs, and craft projects for children and parents enjoy together." 

Nancy Demarest, President of the Library's Board, says, "We're grateful to the Soho Center for their generous donation of Holiday books to the Library. Children will love them - and the bears will be a great addition to our new Children's Section."

The Soho Center's book donation to the Library is part of the Soho Center's on-going book giveaway program to promote children's literacy. Over the past several years, the Soho Center has given away thousands of quality children's books to Madison County schools, Skyline CAP's Head Start programs in Madison and surrounding Counties, Culpeper's Head Start program, and to hundreds of family child care providers across the state. 

Soho Partners with Toys for Teens and Tots

Two non-profit organizations are working together along with a lot of community support to make sure that almost
400 low income children have special presents this Christmas. The Soho Center and Toys for Teens and Tots in
Orange have raised funds and purchased quality children's books and toys for Christmas gifts. The local Department
of Social Services makes sure that all families whose children receive these gifts meet income eligibility requirements.

Donna Waugh-Robinson, Coordinator of Orange County's Toys for Teens and Tots, explains, "Each year, we've
been able to make a lot of kids happy who might not have Christmas presents under a tree.  We appreciate
the community's generous support and the Soho Center's gift of books."

Jeanna Beker, Soho Center's Director, adds, "Whenever we can, we're glad to help.  We're strong believers
that all kids should have books in their lives and that books make wonderful gifts at Christmas and
all year long."



Soho Donates Books and Literacy Materials to Skyline CAP
Madison County and Greene County Head Start Programs

Head Start kids and parents in Greene County and Madison County have extra children's literacy resources thanks to a gift from the Soho Center. The Soho Center has donated 175 sets of literacy how-to materials for parents, 175 nutrition books for children to take home and read, and over 100 quality children's books for all Head Start classrooms to use.  Says Ashley Adams, Head Start Director, Skyline CAP, "We are thrilled to have these new books in our Head Start classrooms and even more excited to be able to send additional books and educational materials home with the children.  Every time a child smiles while reading one of these books will be due to the generosity of the Soho Center."

Soho Donates Books to Culpeper Head Start Program

Culpeper's Head Start kids and parents will have extra children's literacy resources thanks to a gift from the Soho Center. The Soho Center has donated 150 sets of how-to materials for parents, 150 books for children to take home and read, and numerous books for classroom use.  Says Pamela Jenkins, former Program Director, "Culpeper Human Services Head Start is most grateful to the Soho Center for their donation.  These are extraordinary books about nutrition, the winter season, and just plain 'fun books' to read with children.  Our Head Start families will enjoy hours of great reading with their children."  Adds Jeanna Beker, Director of the Soho Center, "We're so pleased to give Culpeper's kids and families this holiday gift of great literacy resources and quality children's books.  Reading is a life-long skill -  we love helping make it happen."

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