American Family Children's Hospital Receives Donated Children's Books

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MADISON - Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle read to patients in the 5th floor Playroom at American Family Children’s Hospital Thursday to commemorate an 8,000-book donation to the hospital's Half-Pint Library by Half Price Books of Wisconsin.
The Half-Pint Library not only allows patients to bring books to their rooms during their hospital stays or clinic visits but also lets them take the books home with them as they leave.
American Family Children's Hospital vice president Jeff Poltawsky said the book drive, which raised 165,000 for 100 children's hospitals nationwide, exemplified the kind of community partnership that truly aids the hospital's ultimate mission.
"It's our mission to improve the health of Wisconsin's children through community partnerships, and this is a great example of a partnership that really works," he said. "This library is really making a difference in the lives of the children we serve. We really want to promote reading as part of a child's development."
Half Price Books district manager Joe Desch said the book donation fit in nicely with his organization's desire to get kids into the reading habit.
"In the children's hospitals it can be a diversion, certainly, but if they're missing school, it's an opportunity to keep their skills sharp," he said. "We want them to take these books home and we want reading to become a part of their lives."
Mrs. Doyle sat in front of a roomful of hospital patients, their families and staff, and opened the reading by complimenting the hospital, which opened last summer. “The American Family Children's Hospital is a spectacular facility that brightens your day, and is probably the best hospital in America right now.”
She then read from a book that incorporated every letter in the alphabet to something relevant to Wisconsin. The book, titled B is for Badger and written by Kathy-Jo Wargin, was the perfect choice, as American Family Children's Hospital blends themes from various areas in Wisconsin in its design.
Mrs. Doyle began with the letter M, which represented Madison, Wisconsin's capital city. "Now Madison begins with M, a capital for our state," she read. "Here the rules and laws are made that make Wisconsin great."
Mrs. Doyle stressed that the donation of the books was very important to the kids and the community. She concluded by saying, “One of the greatest things to do when you have extra time is to pick up a book and read. Reading is the great solution after a tough day.”

Date Published: 06/20/2008

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