At-risk students get free books from literacy group

Addy Hall, along with pre-school teacher Rosalynn Strand, receives a bag stuffed with books from Amy’s Story at Fulton Education Center. The literacy group donates books to children across the state of Missouri.

Addy Hall, along with pre-school teacher Rosalynn Strand, receives a bag stuffed with books from Amy’s Story at Fulton Education Center. The literacy group donates books to children across the state of Missouri.

Forty-five at-risk students with the Fulton Education Center now have plenty of educational activities for the summer, thanks to a literacy program based out of Chillicothe.

Amy’s Story was founded in 2005 by the parents of Amy Hawkins, a Missouri girl who died in a car accident when she was 16. Hawkins loved to read and had ambitions of going to law school to become a child advocate, so her parents created the foundation “to honor Amy... by helping children open their doors to the world through literacy” according to their website, http://www.amysliteracyfoundation.org.

The site boasts having put books in the hands of more than 600 children in Missouri, Minnesota, New Mexico and as far as Africa. Among that number are the 45 early intervention and early childhood special education preschoolers who took home a bag stuffed with books after their production of “Three Piggy Opera” May 17.

Tressa Duncan, director of Fulton Education Center, said they target their at-risk children for the program to keep them interested in learning as they develop.

“Kids love the books, and parents are very excited to get books they keep at home and don’t have to return to school,” said Duncan. “And they’re quality books, well-known titles.”

Linda Hall, a teacher with the Education Center, has coordinated efforts with Amy’s Story for the past three years after Amy’s mother called them at the request of a colleague of hers, former Bartley principal Larry Flakne. Hall said her goal is to foster “a love of reading and getting quality literature into family’s homes.”

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