The 10th annual A Bookcase for Every Child Awards Ceremony was held Sunday, April 13. This event marked the 500th child in Conway to receive this wonderful award.
The organization, thanks to hours of hard work and dedication from a diligent and dedicated volunteer group, remains a nonprofit entity. Fifty children each year in Conway receive a quality and personalized handcrafted oak bookcase. Along with their bookcase, children awarded are also given a starter kit of 10-12 books.
Since its first year in 2005 Bookcase for Every Child has reached to five other states. This year the spirit of volunteerism and compassion swept over several groups. Among them, the local Girl Scout troops of Faulkner County collected 2,305 children’s books. And the 4-H club collected 500 and with assistance from the Retired Teachers Association these thousands of books by reading level and content.
"I tell people that if you want to improve a place, the quickest thing to do is to improve the literacy rate. The communities that are doing well – you find colleges in them. One reason Conway is doing so well is because of our institutions of higher education," said founder, Jim Davidson.
Dr. Charlotte Green, committee member of a Bookcase for Every Child, took it upon herself to sign up each child awarded this year for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This for-pay service sends one new book each month a child until he/she reaches age 5. This is the first time this has been introduced to the program.