NEWS: Atterbury center sponsoring book drive

The Republic

A new effort is underway to improve literacy in Bartholomew County.

Organizers of a new book drive, sponsored by the Atterbury Job Corps Center near Edinburgh, are specifically looking for books appropriate for children from grade school through high school, according to Joshua Kuhn, business and community liaison for the Job Corps center.

After the collection of new and gently used books concludes at the end of March, many written for younger kids will be provided to the Community Center of Hope, while those intended for children of all ages will become part of the Bartholomew County Public Library’s Book Express, Kuhn said.

“Books provided to the Community Center of Hope help children make sense of the world around them,” executive director Chelsea Warriner said. “Books gives us the opportunity to build literacy and language skills to help children develop, so they have a love of books and a readiness to learn.”

Meanwhile, the Book Express depends upon donations and grants to the Bartholomew County Library to obtain books that are given to children of all ages at schools, day cares, parks, neighborhoods, area agencies, and lunch sites, outreach librarian Sandy Allman said.

“This book drive will help enable the Book Express distribute quality, popular books that the kids request when we visit,” Allman said.

The book drive is one of four service projects the Atterbury Job Corps Center will participate in this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the Job Corps’ Management and Training Corporation (MTC).

Headquartered in Centerville, Utah, MTC operates several facilities that include 22 Job Corps centers and employs nearly 10,000 people. One is the Atterbury facility, which works on behalf of young men and women ages 16-24 who are in the low-income range.

MTC is intended to educate and train young people, so they have the technical and life skills needed to find and keep good jobs.

In addition, MTC takes part in looking after the medical, dental and mental health needs of the individuals.

“MTC was founded on the principles of helping others change their lives through education and training—and literacy is key to that mission,” Atterbury Job Corps director Melissa Graf said.

The Job Corps Center has an individual in the Columbus area who will pick up new or gently used books for children. Those who wish to donate should contact Kuhn at 812-314-6090 to make an appointment for pickup.