The Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital Book Buster program received more than 3,600 books from generous shoppers at Barnes & Noble Deerbrook, who purchased and donated children’s books for the store’s Ninth Annual Holiday Book Drive. The book drive ran from last November through Dec. 24, 2014.
Book Busters is a hospital-based literacy program organized by Memorial Hermann Northeast volunteers that began in 2004. The books are used in the program in two different ways, according to Janie Dampier, Memorial Hermann Northeast volunteer and chair of the Book Buster Committee.
“Young patients and visitors can choose one of these new books to read when they arrive at Memorial Hermann Northeast and then to take home with them when they leave,” Dampier said.
“We also take the books to students at River Pines and Jack Fields elementary schools in the Humble Independent School District where our volunteers read to the students and the students also have the opportunity to read to a therapy dog brought by one of our volunteers. The dog is trained to sit while students read to it.”
A 2011 study by Tufts University found that children who read to dogs experienced a gain in reading ability and an improvement in attitude toward reading.
Larry Williams, the community business development manager for Barnes & Noble Deerbrook thinks the total books donated during the most recent drive could actually top 4,000.
“I’m certain that our customers donated even more books because many of our generous customers donate a box of books, which includes 10 books but is only counted as one unit,” Williams said.
While the tally of books donated from the drive has yet to be finalized, Barnes & Noble Deerbrook customers have already helped the store earn the “Top Seller Award” in its district and rank among the best Barnes & Noble holiday book drives nationwide.
“We had the most donations out of 11 stores in our district,” Williams said. “Out of more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores in the United States, we ranked 16th in book donations.”