Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 14, 2013

A literacy project for all the ages

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — One group active in Garvin County for decades looks to start a mission to help the youngest of the area residents with their reading skills.

The group includes the many members of Oklahoma Home and Community Education, better known as just O.H.C.E., scattered throughout the county.

The mission they’ve chosen to accept is a countywide project to promote literacy among families with young children up through the second grade.

At the center of the project for now is to collect books and make book bags for the youngsters.

It might not stop there as even more ideas on ways to promote literacy could come later, said Garvin County Family and Consumer Sciences educator Carrie Kile.

“This is all new to us,” Kile said. “This is a state project, and our ladies have already jumped in.

“I’m so glad some of them have jumped in and hope more will join in after the leader training.”

That training will come soon as O.H.C.E. leaders here in Garvin County will get more information on the statewide O.H.C.E. project called “Raising Young Readers.”

Those leaders will then take the training back to their respective clubs in the county, where even more ideas for the project can then begin to take shape, Kile said.

The project is already off to a good start as so far 39 unique and colorful book bags were made by O.H.C.E. members with most coming from a one-day workshop at the Antioch School. All the fabric was donated by the members, who did their own sewing for the bags.

Additional bags were completed by members working individually or in small groups.

They also collected and cleaned up a total of 135 “gently used” books suitable for young readers, which will be donated to the project.

A selection of book bags and books have already been donated to Elmore City-Pernell Elementary School, Maysville Elementary School and Tommy’s Place in Purcell.

Kile said it’s an exciting thing to see people come together for such a worthy cause.

“They can take their talents and get creative with it,” Kile said about the O.H.C.E. members in Garvin County.

“They can do whatever they want to with this project. If they want to they can sew. If they want to they can gather books. Whatever they want to do,” she said.

“Our ladies can give back to their communities with this project; plus these ladies are such wonderful mentors. It’s a win-win for everybody with this project.”