Reading Reindeer celebrates 21 years

The Observer Media Group-sponsored literacy drive has collected books for nearly 63,000 children in West Orange.

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There is no limit to the places one’s mind can go when reading books — Neverland, Narnia, the moon — and the opportunity to get lost in a story is to be treasured.

Books are important in a child’s life, yet there are children in West Orange County who don’t have their own book collections or someone ready to sit down and read to them or with them.

Observer Media Group’s Reading Reindeer is kicking off its 21st year of collecting and handing out new books to be given to needy children at Christmastime.

New books for children from infancy through middle school are being accepted for this annual literacy project.

They are distributed to multiple organizations: Migrant & Homeless Early Education Program of Orange County Public Schools, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winter Garden, and the Ocoee and Winter Garden police departments’ toy giveaway programs.

Reading Reindeer was started in West Orange County in 1998. Community support has enabled Reading Reindeer to bring new books to close to 63,000 children.

Red donation bins are set out in locations around West Orange County for donors to drop off books.

Through cash donations, this program also provides a new copy of Dr. Seuss’ ABCs to the parents of all babies born at Health Central Hospital throughout the year — approximately 700 births annually.

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 Observer Media Group office at 661 Garden Commerce Parkway, Suite 180, Winter Garden, Florida 34787.

This year’s campaign ends Dec. 9, and new books will be accepted until that date. The program is being coordinated by Allison Brunelle, and she can be contacted by calling the Observer office at (407) 656-2121 or emailing her at [email protected].





Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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