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First Book Distributed Books and Awards in December

Friday, January 22, 2010

Members of First Book-Westminster distributed books and grant money in Lawrence and Mercer counties in December.

Six members of the group and their adviser, Dr. Eileen Morelli, Westminster associate professor of education, distributed 200 books to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students in West Middlesex. Two of the teachers who received books were Christen Delgado Jones, a 2005 Westminster graduate, and Sherry Decker, who earned her master's from Westminster in 2009.

Participating students, all elementary education majors, were:

Senior Carly Breletic, co-chair of First Book-Westminster, is a daughter of Jamie Breletic and Robin Breletic of South Park and a graduate of South Park High School.

Senior Ashley Faherty, co-chair of First Book-Westminster, is a daughter of Timothy and Nancy MacFarlane of Cranberry Township and a graduate of Seneca Valley High School.

Senior Tricia Homonai, treasurer of First Book-Westminster, is a daughter of Robert and Virginia Homonai of Mt. Pleasant and a graduate of Mt. Pleasant Area High School.

Junior Emily Hosack is a daughter of William and Barbara Hosack of Mercer and a graduate of Kennedy Catholic High School.

Senior MaryBeth Memo is a daughter of David and Deborah Memo of New Castle and a graduate of Neshannock High School.

Senior Suzanne Palumbo, secretary of First Book-Westminster, is a daughter of James and Leilani Palumbo of Schenectady, N.Y., and a graduate of Kearney R-I High School.

First Book-Westminster officers presented $1,000 certificates to Vincent Comisky, principal of Luther Low Elementary School in West Middlesex, and to Yvonne Clark of the Walker Neighborhood House after-school program in New Castle. The certificates were in response to grant requests submitted to First Book-Westminster to obtain books for students.

Funds for the grants were raised by First Book-Westminster students, who raised more than $2,700 and distributed over 500 books in Lawrence and Mercer counties.

First Book-Westminster is the local chapter of an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. The organization raises funds and accepts community donations to provide books to children in literacy programs, shelters for battered children, housing project initiatives, soup kitchens, after-school programs, and other community-based efforts reaching children living at or below the poverty line.

Contact Morelli at (724) 946-6035 or e-mail morellme@westminster.edu for more information.  

(L-r) Christen Delgado Jones, MaryBeth Memo, Suzanne Palumbo, Emily Hosack