The Molina Foundation grants 30,000 books to Ohio University’s Patton College of Education’s Edward Stevens Literacy Center

Ohio University’s Patton College of Education’s Edward Stevens Literacy Center was recently granted 30,000 books by the Molina Foundation to distribute to low-income and at-risk families in Southeastern Ohio.

The Molina Foundation recently granted Ohio University’s Patton College of Education’s Edward Stevens Literacy Center 30,000 books of literature. The books are set to be distributed to at-risk and low-income families in counties around Southeast Ohio.

Sara Helfrich, who is serving as interim dean of Patton College, was quoted by The Athens News about the donation, saying, “We are so fortunate to be able to partner with the Molina Foundation. Their donation of 30,000 books is very much appreciated and will be distributed in schools across Southeast Ohio, making a real difference for students in our region. I'm proud of the work Dr. Julie Francis and her team in the Stevens Literacy Center have done and the profound impact it has had and will continue to have in our community.”

The Stevens Literacy Center was established at Ohio University in 1997. It supports the work and missions of The Patton College of Education at OU through its focus on the promotion, research, and development of literacy for people of all ages.

Julie Barnhart Francis, the director of the Stevens Literacy Center, said of the donations, “On behalf of the Patton College's Stevens Literacy Center, we are thrilled to be the stewards of this project. This grant will support a wide distribution of reading material in an effort to increase the accessibility of high-quality literature for all ages in our region.” 

Francis went on to talk about the organizations that have benefited from the center’s efforts: “We've distributed books through almost all the local school districts, the Athens library, both local medical systems, Integrated Services, Jobs and Family Services, Athens on Wheels, Ohio Rise, Appalachian Behavioral Studies, and a few local churches. Everyone is enthusiastic and excited about the books. We are grateful to our community partners that strengthen the chain of distribution from the ACEnet warehouse and into the hands of children, adults, and families across our region.”

The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks provided warehouse space to hold the large amount of books received by the Stevens Literacy Center. 

ACEnet’s Executive Director, Larry Fisher, talked about the partnership, saying, “We are glad that we had the opportunity and some space at our Nelsonville facility to help the Stevens Literacy Center obtain their Molina Foundation book grant. The quality and diversity of the new books is amazing, and we are excited to see them getting out into our communities.” 

The Molina Foundation was founded by Martha Molina Bernadett, M.D., MBA, who serves as the Foundation’s President and CEO. The nonprofit is focused on increasing access to education and health for those affected by inequalities in society. The foundation has worked since 2004, with more than 2,500 schools and community focused organizations around the country to provide a positive impact in the lives of children and their families.

Molina Bernadett spoke on the connection between education and healthcare, and how providing literacy resources improves everyone’s life, saying, “If you can’t read, then you can’t understand the directions on your medicine bottle or understand what preventive care measures you need to take to make sure your children are immunized.”

More information about Ohio University can be found here.

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