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County students participate in 'Reading to Make Cents' contest

February 09, 2007

Babies born at Washington County Hospital during the upcoming year received good news again this past holiday season. Each infant will be presented a new "board" book targeted for immediate use with newborns.

Meanwhile, their parents are provided with information designed to encourage reading to children. Many studies have revealed the immense value to children of exposure to literature from birth.

For the fifth consecutive year, this head start for entirely has been funded through the enthusiastic reading accomplishments of Washington County elementary school students.

The Books for Babies program sponsors a "Reading to Make Cents" contest in which students obtain sponsors to make pledges for every book they read during National Children's Book Week in November. This effort supplies a double benefit by fostering reading at the school-age level, as well as for babies at the beginning of their lifetime reading experience.

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Companies and organizations such as Citicorp, Circuit City, Target, Wal-Mart, Book Cellar and Sam's Club donated prizes awarded to three winners at all participating elementary schools as well as four countywide grand-prize levels. Pizza Hut provided a personal pan pizza coupon to each participant.

At a ceremony Dec. 14 at the Washington County Free Library, four countywide reading winners were announced. Taylor Jackson-Hamilton of Old Forge Elementary School received a deluxe bicycle for taking first prize, and Trenton Wise of Salem Avenue Elementary School received a boom box for second prize. Dominic DiLeo of Pleasant Valley Elementary School received a gift certificate for third prize, and Sarah Hendershot of Hancock Elementary School received a book package as the fourth-place winner.

Twenty-four county elementary schools participated this year, the second record-setting effort in a row. Students at each school received an iPod Shuffle for first prize, a T-shirt for second place, and a book certificate for third place. Old Forge Elementary School was the top fundraiser, followed by Boonsboro Elementary School and Williamsport Elementary School.

Books for Babies is a joint venture of the Washington County Free Library, Washington County Hospital and the Washington County Reading Council.

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