​Westminster to Distribute 40,000 Free Books to Area Teachers

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - On Wednesday, May 7, Westminster College, First Book-Westminster, and community volunteers will distribute 40,000 free new books to area public school educators after winning a national competition to register 300 schools and programs that serve children in need.

Last fall, nearly 40 students affiliated with First Book-Westminster registered 382 teachers and community organizations for the national First Book organization, a national nonprofit that has distributed more than 115 million books to children across the country over the last 21 years. The reward: a truckload of 40,000 new children's books to distribute locally.

"This is a phenomenal opportunity for Westminster to promote the hard work of the students, the cooperation of a large number of Westminster faculty and staff, and Westminster's cooperative effort within the larger community groups serving Lawrence and Mercer counties, said organizer and First Book-Westminster adviser Dr. Eileen Morelli.

"The importance of this award is significant, as we are the only First Book college organization to receive this award," said Morelli, adding that only eight other truckloads were awarded in the country. The other awards went to larger metropolitan areas across the country.

The new books - for newborns to 18-year-olds - from Hyperion Press and Disney Publishing will arrive on Westminster's campus on Monday, May 5. Book distribution for registered teachers will be between 3:30-8 p.m. Wednesday in the lobby of Orr Auditorium on Westminster's campus.  Books will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

More than 380 local teachers are registered to receive 100 books each. School districts include Ellwood City, Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Castle, Shenango, Union and Wilmington in Lawrence County, and Farrell, George Junior Republic, Hermitage, Lakeview, Mercer, Sharon, and Sharpsville in Mercer County, as well as teachers from West Mifflin and Campbell (Ohio) school districts.

Several community groups serving children of low-income families will also receive free books.

For more information, please contact Morelli at 724-946-6035 or email

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.