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Manchester Memorial, Save the Children work to boost rural literacy

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - A small change at one Clay County hospital is looking to change a statistic some say is shocking. Officials from the organization "Save the Children" say many children in rural Kentucky are illiterate. They hope that a partnership with Manchester Memorial can help children gain interest in books from a young age.

It looks fairly simple. A book case with a few dozen books on it. To some, this isn't anything special. But to Manchester Memorial Hospital, and the organization "Save the Children," this bookshelf is a way to change the future.

Shane Garver, State Director of the Kentucky Save the Children Program, said, "Save the Children is hopeful that these reading corners can meet a practical need for families." He continued to say, "They emphasize the importance of reading right from the start of life."

A grant from the Federal Department of Education was given to Save the Children, who decided to apply $4,500 of it to Manchester Memorial. "We are excited to have books and activities, not only in our emergency room waiting, but also on the floors for children that are in the hospital," said Erika Skula, C.E.O. of Manchester Memorial Hospital.

Save the Children has been an active part of the Clay County School System for one decade. Both entities believe this partnership could change the future of the community. "To be able to help children grow and learn through reading," Skula began. "I just think it's a wonderful thing." Garver followed up that statement by saying, "I'm really excited about the work that Save the Children is doing, and the impact that even small steps like these reading corners will have for kids and families." Those small steps, they hope turn into giant future developments.

There are currently two reading corners at Manchester Memorial Hospital. They hope that the program will continue to grow, and add more books and activities.

*published on WYMT, Monday September 21