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HUD Archives: News Releases
CUOMO ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF 9,600 NEW BOOKS TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN SHELTERS IN DC, MD AND VA
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced the distribution of 9,600 new books to children living in homeless shelters and shelters for victims of domestic violence in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Disney Publishing Co. donated the books -- as part of its ongoing commitment to building children's literacy skills -- to First Book, a non-profit provider of new books to disadvantaged children.
The books were collected and are being distributed as part of HUD's Take Ten Homeless Campaign, under which individuals, groups and businesses get involved in efforts to help homeless people overcome their problems and become self-sufficient.
The books will go to shelters operated by: the Coalition for the Homeless in Washington; the Maryland Center for Poverty Solutions in Baltimore; the Continuum of Care in Alexandria, VA; the Continuum of Care in Fairfax, VA; and Hope House in Fredricksburg, VA.
"Homeless children, who are deprived of so much, should not be deprived of the joy of reading," Cuomo said. "For children who own nothing but the clothes on their backs, a bag of books can be a bag of riches that can open up new worlds and a love of learning. Disney Publishing and First Book are bringing happiness to children whose lives are too often filled with sadness."
HUD Deputy Secretary Designee Saul Ramirez and Lynda Lancaster, Vice President of Community Outreach for First Book, presented some of the books to children at the Coalition for the Homeless Family Resource Center in Washington today.
Founded in 1992, First Book is a national nonprofit organization with a simple mission to give disadvantaged children the opportunity to read and own their first books. In 1997, First Book distributed over 1 million new books to hundreds of thousands of children in 170 communities nationwide.
"HUD and Disney recognize that strong literacy skills set the foundation for future success," Lancaster said. "The Secretary's efforts to encourage publishers to donate these books brings the magic of reading to children and augments the wonderful training and support services our area shelters provide children and families. We applaud HUD, under the leadership of Secretary Cuomo, for recognizing the central role played by underdeveloped literacy skills in many social problems including poverty, unemployment, crime, hunger, homelessness and drug addiction."
People interested in helping homeless people through HUD's Take Ten Homeless Campaign can call 1-800-HUD-1010, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., EDT. For more information on book donations, people can contact First Book at 202-393-1222.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009