Duke, Cisco, Head Start give libraries to kids

Posted March 9, 2009 1:49 p.m. EDT
Updated March 9, 2009 1:56 p.m. EDT

— Duke University, Cisco Systems and Durham Head Start have teamed up to provide 1,500 new books and bookcases for low-income children.

Duke's Children's Environmental Health Initiative gathered the English- and Spanish-language children's books. Cisco donated new bookcases for 27 classrooms serving 500 children in Head Start.

“If kids even have a small number of print materials in their home, it significantly improves their cognitive development and better prepares them for school,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, CEHI director and associate professor of environmental sciences and policy at Duke.

“By giving books to the kids in the Head Start program, it’s a way for us to make sure we’re reaching the children for whom this program could have the biggest impact.”

CEHI began collaborating with Head Start to promote literacy in Durham last year. The initiative purchased the 1,500 books from the Bring Me A Book Foundation with money donated by the community.

The books and bookcases were to be presented during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Head Start's headquarters, 215 W. Seminary St.