Archbold Auxiliary saves T-ville literacy program -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Archbold Auxiliary saves T-ville literacy program

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A program that promotes literacy is back up and running in Thomasville. It teaches children to enjoy reading by providing them with free books, but it was suspended because the demand was greater than the supply of books.

Twenty thousand dollars. That's how much the Archbold Hospital Auxiliary donated to Thomasville's Literacy Committee to continue the Ferst Foundation Project. The Foundation supplies every Thomasville child under the age of five with a free book each month, delivered right to their doorstep.

"We start at birth and give a book that most of us are pretty familiar with, The Little Engine That Could," said Jean Morgan, a former president of the Archbold Auxiliary.

The Literacy Committee began the program five years ago but was forced to suspend it after they couldn't keep up with the growing demands.

"We as a small group started trying to raise money to pay for this and it just, we got overwhelmed with it," said Nancy Tillinghast, the director of Thomas County Public Library System.

So the Archbold Auxiliary group stepped up to be their champion. They raised twenty thousand dollars by holding fund raisers throughout the year. Auxiliary members say Thomasville citizens have been generous despite the recession.

"The last couple years we have done more than in previous years, so we've been very pleased and kind of surprised," said Linda Pack, treasurer of Archbold Auxiliary.

Every book the program gives out is age appropriate. From The Little Engine That Could to the very last book, Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come.

Project organizers are now hoping all their hard work will pay off.

"We are now five years into the project and we will begin to see the results of this project, of giving each child a book," says Morgan. "We think that it is going to be a tremendous improvement in literacy in Thomas County."

They hope the free books will give each Thomasville child the opportunity to grow into literate, and thus productive, adults.

The Archbold Auxiliary already had a hand in the program by buying and giving the first book to newborns at the hospital. Now that they are paying for all the books given to Thomas County children, they will present a check to the Thomasville Literacy Committee every six months.


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