WEST ORANGE The West Orange Times’ Reading Reindeer is back this year and is out in the community collecting new books to be shared with local children at Christmastime. The West Orange Times & Observer and Windermere Observer again are partnering with Just 1 Book, an Orange County nonprofit started in 2010 by Sarah Dewitz.
New books suitable for children from infancy through middle school are accepted for this literacy project. Last year, Reading Reindeer distributed more than 4,000 books; this year’s goal is 5,000. They are distributed to 16 organizations: Edgewood Children’s Ranch, Maxey Community Center, Winter Garden Children’s Health Center, Migrant Early Education Program of Orange County Public Schools, Matthew’s Hope, West Orange Neighborhood Center for Families, Play and Learn Day School, Resurrection Catholic Church, St. Jude Catholic Church, Head Start and prekindergarten program at Maxey Elementary School, Center for Drug-Free Living, Docs for Tots at Health Central, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winter Garden and the Ocoee and Winter Garden police departments’ toy-giveaway programs and the children served by the West Orange Christian Service Center.
Reading Reindeer started in 1998. Community support has enabled Reading Reindeer to bring new books to close to 50,000 children.
Through cash donations, this program also provides a new copy of “Dr. Seuss’ ABCs” to the parents of each baby born at Health Central throughout the year.
The community is invited to join the effort to improve literacy levels in West Orange County. Checks payable to Reading Reindeer also can be mailed to the newspaper’s office, 720 S. Dillard St., Winter Garden, Florida 34787.
This year’s campaign ends Dec. 11, and new books will be accepted until that date. Erin Bailey is coordinating the program and can be reached at (407) 656-2121 or [email protected].
Donations to Reading Reindeer can be taken to the following locations:
Axum Coffee, 146 W. Plant St., No. 110
First Baptist Church, 125 E. Plant St.
Winter Garden Branch Library, 805 E. Plant St.
West Orange Chamber of Commerce, 12184 W. Colonial Drive
West Orange Times & Observer, 720 S. Dillard St.
House Blend Café, 10730 W. Colonial Drive
Ocoee Book Rack, 125 W. McKey St.
West Oaks Library, 1821 E Silver Star Road
Dixie Cream Café, 434 Main St.
Windermere Branch Library, 530 Main St.
yellow dog eats, 1236 Hempel Ave.
Pammie’s Sammies, 5907 Turkey Lake Road
Southwest Branch Library, 7255 Della Drive
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].