U 'n' I on READING

December 02, 2002 11:00 pm

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

UNION — The U.S. Coast Guard's recruiting slogan once was, "It's not just a job, it's an adventure.''

Today the Coast Guard is still about ocean adventures, but it is also helping kids experience adventures in reading.

Union's U ‘n' I on (Union) Reading program has received 600 books that will be distributed free over the next year to children and youth in the community.

The books were provided free by the First Book National Book Bank. The book bank is providing 2.15 million books for young people this fall throughout the United States at no cost. All the books have been stored free at U.S. Coast Guard stations in California, New Jersey and Maryland.

Union's program received the books with help from Community Bank of Union. The bank donated $150 to pay for the cost of shipping the books from a Coast Guard station.

Marlene Greer, manager of Community Bank of Union, said she is delighted to have a chance to help youth.

"This is the fun part of my job,'' Greer said.

There are 10 titles among the 600 books Union received. The titles include "Silent Storm" by Sherry Garland; "Clifford's Furry Friends" by Norman Bridwell; "The Million Dollar Shot" by Dan Gutman; "Real Vampires" by Daniel Cohen; and "I'd Rather Be Eaten by Sharks" by Elaine Moore.

The books will be given free to children each time they attend an activity sponsored by U ‘n' I on Reading to promote reading. These include story-time hours conducted in conjunction with Union Elementary School PTA meetings.

The story-time hours provide a place for parents to leave their children under adult supervision while the parent and teacher association meets.

U ‘n' I on Reading will also give out books at family reading nights conducted at Union's public library. The family reading nights have become extremely popular over the past year. The most recent one, conducted last month, drew 130 people, said Union High School language arts teacher Vivian Matthews.

Matthews is a key organizer of U ‘n' I on Reading, plus the Storytime Hour and the Family Reading Night programs.

She is among many who have worked diligently in Union to promote literacy. Their goal is to inspire children to love reading.

This is the second shipment of books that U ‘n' I On Reading has received this year from the First Book National Book Bank, based in Washington, D.C. Late last summer U ‘n' I also received a large number of books from the bank.

A portion of last summer's books were also distributed to community organizations throughout the Grande Ronde Valley by the Union County First Book Literacy Advisory Board.

The First Book National Book Bank is a centralized system that allows publishers to donate large quantities of books to community-based programs.