JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Barnes and Noble partnered with UAMS Family Medical Center in Jonesboro to get books to children.
The 12th annual Holiday Book Drive took place Tuesday with members of UAMS showing up to Barnes and Noble to pick up the books for the children.
Barnes and Noble Manager, Christopher Clark, said it's the community that makes this book drive a success.
"When children visit the doctor for a wellness visit or if they're not feeling well, they and their siblings are allowed a free book. It's part of the program," Clark said. "So, our community members that shop with us through the holidays made that possible."
Dr. Jake McMillon said this book drive is a wonderful opportunity.
"I thought it was a great opportunity," Dr. McMillon said. "To get some reading material into the hands of a lot of kids in our communities that may not otherwise have materials like this at home."
Dr. McMillon said literacy is a huge part of children's growth.
"Literacy is such a big part of growing up," from six months on up through the rest of our pediatric population to 18," McMillon said. "A big part of the parents bond with the kid is getting to read to the child at night. So, we start giving books to the babies and they develop mentally through that bond and when the kids get a little bit older they can appreciate the pictures and get to read."
"It's wonderful to spread literacy, and an interest in lifelong learning," Clark said. "I know UAMS very much likes the program because they're able to give a treat. Something the kids can take home and learn and interact with their parents and siblings with. So, it's very rewarding not only for us, but also for our partners at UAMS."
McMillon said he sees the impact the books have on the kids who visit them.
"This is a big part of the kid's clinic visits," Dr. McMillon said. "They come in and get the books and they're excited about their parents to go help them pick out a book or just to be excited to have one brought to them. It's a great part of my job. It's definitely a highlight of the visit to a lot of the good child visits that we do. And it's a great part. Makes a great bond between the doctor and the patient as well. Because they think more of their visits and that makes it easier the next time they come in, too."
Clark said the book drive is something he and employees look forward to each year.
"The Holiday Book Drive is one of the most fun things we get to do for me and my coworkers," Clark said. "Our community is so interested in helping us by donating books that it's something I hope everyone looks forward to each holiday season. So, it's a positive tradition that impacts everyone in our community in a positive way."
They raised 2,900 books which is the largest amount raised so far.
Clark says Barnes and Noble will be holding another holiday book drive this year.
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