Literacy program provides free books to youth

Before launching an official fund-raising effort, supporters of a childhood literacy campaign in Harris County already have raised more than $5,000 to provide a free book monthly to small children across the county.

The campaign, launched by the Harris County Community Action Team under the leadership of the Friends of Harris County Public Libraries, will begin registering children under age 5 Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Family Connections Back to School Rush, Harris County Health Department. The group is working with the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy to provide the books.

A planning meeting is scheduled for noon Wednesday at the Harris County Public Library in Hamilton. The meeting is open to any interested person or group.

Estimates are that up to 2,000 children under age 5 live in the county. The goal is to register 400 children before the end of this year and 80 percent of the eligible children within three years.

The team has created the "Harris Hundred" to offer special recognition and benefits to the first 100 donors who pledge to give at least $300 annually for three or more years. The goal is to reach 100 by Sept. 1 and to celebrate with a "Literacy Gala" in late September.

For more information, call Bob Patterson at 706-628-4663 or e-mail him at bob@bob-patterson.com.