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Cub Scouts Round Up Hundreds of Books for Charity

boyscouts1"To help others at all times" is part of the scout oath, and one of the ways a pack, or local branch, does so is through acts of community service. Each year Scarsdale Cub Scout Pack 440 chooses a particular project for which to enlist the whole group, which is comprised of over 50 boys, ages six to 10.

In past years the projects have ranged from national (sending care packages to troops stationed abroad) to local (providing supplies to the Ronald McDonald House in Valhalla). This year Pack 440's annual service project centered on literacy at a local level. The pack held a children's book drive, and the new and gently used books were then donated to the Institute for Family Health clinics in Harlem and the South Bronx. The books will be distributed to patients. In particular, those for young children will be used as part of the Reach Out and Read program (http://www.reachoutandread.org). Celebrating its 25th year, Reach Out and Read program is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by integrating children's books and advice to parents of underprivileged backgrounds about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits.

Between looking at home for books they had outgrown, to buying books to donate or seeking books fromboyscouts2 friends and neighbors, the scouts were able to amass over 500 books to distribute to families in need. On Saturday, December 6th, the pack met to sort out the books by age and pack for shipment. Children were also able to attach a book plate to a book to explain why they liked or recommended the book to the recipient. In keeping with the projects focus on literacy and its environmental theme of reuse, the boys also engaged in a craft project where they made journals out of cereal boxes.

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