ARKADELPHIA – The Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community at Ouachita Baptist University recently donated more than 150 new books to Ascent Children’s Health Services in Arkadelphia to fulfill a need for books for preschool children enrolled there.
“Meeting the needs of children in our city is a high priority for the Elrod Center,” said Ian Cosh, Ouachita vice president for community and international engagement. “We recognize the importance of reading in the development of a child and are pleased to provide books that will bring hours of joy to the children being served.”
Jan Bass, coordinator of public school initiatives; Diane Runyan, administrative assistant at the Elrod Center; and Tayler Koller, student program assistant, delivered the books to Brianna Hardaway, Ascent’s early childhood coordinator. Cindy Meador is the new director of Ascent.
“We look forward to delivering this gift of books each year,” Bass noted. “It is our pleasure to see the eager acceptance of books by children who really appreciate having a book of their own to take home.
“This is the eighth consecutive year that funding through the Elrod Center made it possible for the center to provide these books,” she added. “We purchase board books suitable for babies and toddlers, as well as sturdy paperback books for the older preschoolers.”
“Ascent Children’s Health Services would like to thank the Elrod Center for providing books for our children,” Hardaway said. “It was amazing to see the look on each child’s face when they realized they could pick their own book and bring it home with them.
“Not only did we get enough books for each child in our facility, but there are plenty more for each classroom to have extras,” Hardaway added. “This was a wonderful gift and our children loved the surprise.”
Ouachita Baptist University established the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community in 1997 to encourage, coordinate and facilitate public service, volunteerism and community engagement throughout the state and region. For more information about the programs of the Elrod Center, call 870-245-5320 or visit www.obu.edu/elrod.