Book drive helps kids

Jesse O. Walls

The occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program is currently hosting a book drive for children’s books. The drive is to help local family shelters in the Joplin and Carthage area to start or expand their library of books for children.

“The OTA program chose to host this book drive to…offer books to children that otherwise might not have access to books,” commented Donna Tunnell, director of the OTA program.

The shelters have a small selection of books for children, if any at all, and OTA hopes to raise those numbers.

“I think it’s very helpful,” said Veronica Marroquin, OTA major, of the drive. “It’s going to mean a lot to these kids who need it.”

According to Tunnell, reading is important for children; it helps to increase vocabulary and intelligence, as well as relax the body and mind.

“A child can use their imagination when reading a book and this is important,” said Tunnell. “One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning.”

OTA is accepting used and new books, suitable for children from newborn to 12 years of age. The book drive runs through November 14 and drop-off boxes have been set up around the Neosho campus for those interested in donating.