Following the summer floods in southern West Virginia last year, the WV Prevention Research Center (WVPRC) and the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) partnered with Save the Children to collect an estimated 5,000 books for children in affected areas.

While many relief efforts focused on basic needs, WVPRC staff member Amy Mills’ spotted another gap.

“Directly after the floods, many of the relief efforts were focused on clothing, shelter and food for the affected families,” said Mills. “Now that we are a year out, we are identifying other needs in the communities.’

Mills learned that Bridge Elementary and Clendenin Elementary – two Kanawha County schools that were forced to combine after the floods – were sharing one small shelf of books among their 400 students.

WVPRC and CED joined efforts to launch a book drive in Morgantown. Mills partnered with Save the Children, to spearhead the effort in Charleston.

The initial goal was to collect around 800 books so that each student at the combined schools would have two books for the summer. After the second week of collection, an estimated 5,000 books were donated by individuals, organizations and community groups from West Virginia and Kentucky. With the abundance of donations, the distribution of books expanded to daycares and libraries in the Clendenin area. WVPRC continues to disseminate books to other flood-affected areas in need.

The West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WVPRC) is one of 26 prevention research centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-005004. The WVPRC is housed in the West Virginia University School of Public Health.

CONTACT: Liesl Kammer, PR Specialist, West Virginia Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health, West Virginia University

304.680-3636