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New metro literacy coalition faced challenge of distributing 50,000 kids' books


Rod Lott September 13th, 2007

Last month, the good news was that Oklahoma won 50,000 new children's books in a national contest. The bad news was that Oklahoma won 50,000 new children's books in a national contest. The gift from ...

FirstBook6

Last month, the good news was that Oklahoma won 50,000 new children's books in a national contest. The bad news was that Oklahoma won 50,000 new children's books in a national contest.

The gift from First Book " a national nonprofit group for children's literacy " immediately raised dilemmas for the Oklahoma City Metro Literacy Coalition, the nonprofit agency tapped to facilitate distribution:
" where to store the books,
" where to have a distribution event and
" how to fund it.

"It was kind of a mixed blessing," said Mary Surbeck, program coordinator for the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, which formed the OCMLC with Junior League of Oklahoma City. "(First Book) had done nothing of this magnitude before."

SOLUTIONS
Fortunately, the headaches went away pretty quickly, with Sonic Corp. donating the $2,000 needed to hold a two-day distribution event at the Omniplex, which Surbeck said "generously" cut its venue hosting fees.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, those 50,000 books will be distributed. Most will go to the 82 organizations that had applied to receive books, but some will go directly to kids who will arrive by bus at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday for lunch and a day of Omniplex play.

It's proven to be quite the undertaking for the OCMLC " a newly formed organization that received nonprofit status this summer " but a necessary one.

"The good thing about the literacy coalition is that we have voices," she said. "We have built a network of communication that's very strong." "Rod Lott

 
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