/////Bookcase Project Brings Books Home for UAMS Head Start Students
Bookcase Project Brings Books Home for UAMS Head Start Students 2018-01-05T09:19:44+00:00

Nov. 19, 2007 | Not all children are fortunate enough to have a bookcase filled with their favorite books, but a group of community leaders is working to change that.


Founded by nationally syndicated columnist Jim Davidson of Conway, the Bookcase Project is a literacy advocacy program whose goal is to provide a personalized oak bookcase and set of children’s books for 4 and 5 year olds enrolled in the Head Start program.


The Bookcase Project began in Conway in Faulkner County and is being expanded to targeted sites in North Little Rock in Pulaski County.


Head Start and Early Head Start centers in Pulaski County are operated by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


“We are thrilled to participate in the Bookcase Project,” said Mary Kaye McKinney, director of UAMS Head Start/Early Head Start program. “Early language and literacy development are vital parts of the Head Start program. Knowing that many of our students will have books to enjoy at home is an important step in their early childhood education.”


The first participating UAMS Head Start center in North Little Rock will be the Pine center; the program eventually will expand to include the Silver City and Hemlock centers. About 50 children will benefit from the program, which also places volunteer readers in the Head Start classrooms each week.


A “Read-in” event was held on Nov. 13 at the Pine Head Start Center to kick off the North Little Rock Bookcase Project and to recognize Children’s Book Week. Reading at the event were state Sen. Tracy Steele, North Little Rock Fire Chief Joe McCall and North Little Rock Chief of Police Danny Bradley. Police officer Tommy Norman is the project chairman.


Bookcase Project volunteers are needed to donate books, build bookcases and read to students. For information, call Norman at (501) 366-4330.


Since 1998, UAMS has operated the Pulaski County Head Start and Early Head Start program, which serves 1,130 children from birth through kindergarten at 23 facilities across the county. Ninety percent of the families with children enrolled in Head Start are at or below the 100 percent poverty level. In addition to a preschool curriculum, Head Start services include dental care, nutrition services, mental health services and referrals for community resources.  For more information about the UAMS Head Start Program, call (501)570-5000.