The Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community at Ouachita Baptist University recently donated more than 150 new books to Ascent Children’s Health Services in Arkadelphia to fulfill a need for books for preschool children enrolled there.
Elrod Center director Ian Cosh, OBU vice president for community and international engagement, said, “Meeting the needs of children in our city is a high priority for the Elrod Center. We recognize the importance of reading in the development of a child and are pleased to provide books that will bring hours of joy to the children being served.”
Jan Bass, coordinator of public school initiatives, and Diane Runyan, administrative assistant at the Elrod Center, delivered the books to Brianna Hardaway, Ascent’s early childhood coordinator. Justin Huett serves as director of Ascent.
“We look forward to delivering this gift of books each year,” Bass said. “It is our pleasure to see the eager acceptance of books by children who really appreciate having a book of their own to take home.
“This is the seventh consecutive year that funding through the Elrod Center made it possible for the center to provide these books,” she added. “We purchase board books suitable for babies and toddlers as well as study, paperback books for the older preschoolers.”
“Ascent Children’s Health Services would like to thank the Elrod Center for providing books for our children,” Hardaway said. “We are currently serving 52 children ranging in age from 3 months to 6 years. It was such a joy to see the looks on each child’s face when they realized they were picking out their own book to take home with them.”
“We received enough books for each child in our facility and had many more left over for each room to have extras,” Hardaway noted. “This was a wonderful gift and our children loved the surprise!”
Ouachita Baptist University established the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community in 1997 to encourage, coordinate and facilitate public service, volunteerism and community engagement throughout the state and region. For information about the programs of the Elrod Center, call 870-245-5320.