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Literacy Council gears up for Buck A Book

January 17, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Melvin Snyder of Chambersburg next week will try to make it three years in a row as the Franklin County Literacy Council's Buck A Book Week champ.

Last year, Snyder raised $700 for the council, winning a lunch with Nashville, Tenn., recording artist David Kersh, according to Stephanie Crawford, the Buck A Book coordinator and a program assistant with the Literacy Council. Snyder, 51, a Literacy Council student, also won the year before, raising $553 when the council first ran the fund-raiser.

Participants in the Buck A Book program raise money by finding sponsors who will pay them at least $1 for every book they read during the week of Jan. 24-30.

Crawford said Snyder will have competition. "Last year we had over 2,000 people participating," she said.

The 1999 contest raised about $41,000 with the council netting about $35,000 after all the prizes had been awarded. The Buck A Book program is the council's second largest source of funding next to about $58,000 it receives from the state.

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The balance of the budget is raised through a golf tournament, a direct-mail campaign and other donations, she said.

In 1998-99 the council, with offices at 338 Lincoln Way East, used the funding to instruct 61 basic literacy students, 83 students in its English as a Second Language program and three math literacy students, according to Program Assistant Judy Kline. Halfway through the 1999-2000 year, Kline said the program has instructed 35 basic literacy students and 33 English as a Second Language students.

Kline said there are a dozen people on the waiting list for group and one-on-one literacy courses. She hopes an ongoing tutoring course will produce a dozen or more new tutors to help meet the demand. The council has 57 active volunteer tutors now, she said.

Anyone can be a Buck A Book reader or sponsor, Crawford said.

Twenty-two schools from all six school districts in Franklin County are participating, along with two private schools, all 18 Head Start centers in the county, nine day-care centers and half a dozen businesses and civic organizations, Crawford said.

"The Head Start centers and day-care centers are new participants this year," she said.

Students collecting at least $50 will get their choice of two Baltimore Orioles tickets or two tickets to the Dutch Wonderland theme park, Crawford said. Collecting more than $60 in pledges gets a reader a Hersheypark ticket and more than $100 entitles a participant to either four Orioles or Dutch Wonderland tickets.

Those collecting more than $120 in pledges get two Hersheypark tickets. The top collector in each school will be recognized prior to an Orioles game and meet a player, or get an additional Dutch Wonderland or Hersheypark ticket.

Crawford said the top fund-raiser will also get an autographed poster from country music star Faith Hill. The school that raises the most money and the school with the highest average of funds per student each get $1,000 from Sprint, according to Crawford.

All participating schools will get books donated to their libraries from several publishers, and teachers are eligible for prize tickets based on how their classes perform.

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