Barnes & Noble of Rome donated more than 1,400 books to the Child Development Center and Cassie Taylor-Potts, media coordinator for Barnes & Noble, said the bookstore was thrilled to be able to provide the children with such a treat.
Janice Merritt, executive director of the Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center, said it was the best holiday present the center had gotten.
“This is Christmas in January thanks to Barnes and Noble,” Merritt said. “We’re trying to form a home-school connection with literacy. We invited parents to come out and some community volunteers to try to increase the importance of reading in the home.”.
“We choose a recipient every year, and we usually try to choose one in October or November,” said Taylor-Potts,” and then, starting on Black Friday, we ask our customers if they’d like to donate a book to whoever our recipient is, and the customers were completely on board.”
Taylor-Potts said the store set up a display with different children’s books and would ask customers who wished to donate to choose from that selection.
“We have cards with people’s names on them,” she said. “Some say from Santa, some say they’re from the person who donated. The community really came together this year, which was amazing.”
Larry James was reading books about dogs and horses to his grandson, Jeleel, who is 2 years old.
“I think it’s a great thing,” James said. “I wish they’d have had something like this when I was growing up.”
Stefano Echanique and his 5-year-old son, Giovani, were lounging on the floor against the wall – as many parents and children were – reading a book together.
“I think it’s pretty awesome, it gives the kids a chance to read different books and to learn,” Echanique said. “I know little man was really excited. It’s definitely an awesome thing they’re doing.”
Seeing the children so excited to get their hands on the new reading material, Merritt said she was glad they were ecstatic about reading at such an early age.
“This is like a gift from above,” she said. “Seriously, I just hope that parents can really appreciate what Barnes and Noble has done. Because we could not have afforded to put this many books in our center.”
She sent out gratitude to the many donors that helped make it all possible.
“If I could, personally, if I knew how to thank all the people who made the donations, I would love to,” she said. “It’s a blessing to have this.”