BY NANCY SCHNEIDER
Doing Good in the Neighborhood is the campaign that makes it easy for Duke employees from the university and health system to make a difference in Durham through community-based philanthropy. The following piece is by Nancy Schneider, Associate in Research at the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a Doing Good beneficiary.
With the generous support of individual donors, publishing companies, and the Doing Good in the Neighborhood campaign, the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at the Nicholas School of the Environment has concluded its second successful year of the Bringing Books to Children program.
CEHI’s community-based research and outreach projects have confirmed that many low-income children have few, if any, books in their home. Research shows that the presence of age-appropriate print materials in the home significantly improves outcomes for children.
Last year, CEHI initiated a targeted effort to bring books into the homes of each child enrolled in the Durham County Head Start program. This year CEHI expanded the program to Orange County, serving a total of 642 students in 41 classrooms and delivering a total of 2,168 books across the two counties. CEHI even enlisted the Archivist of the United States (and former Duke Librarian) David Ferriero to help prepare the books for delivery.
CEHI staff members visited Head Start classrooms in Durham and Orange Counties to read a story or two before delivering to each child a backpack holding three new books and a library card application. We look forward to next year’s program, as we continue our relationships with Durham and Orange counties and hopefully collaborate with other nearby Head Start Programs.
Thank you to the Duke employees who made this effort possible!