Literacy Volunteers of Orange/Athol to host Book Bags for Babies Sewing Party

  • Louise Doud, Literacy Volunteers of Orange/Athol Program Coordinator, displays finished book bags and pieces from ready-to-sew take-home kits for the Book Bags for Babies program which distributes children's books and informational literature to parents. The public is invited to participate in the Book Bags for Babies Sewing Party at the Athol Public Library on Sept. 20. The LVOA is accepting child-themed fabric donations to make more bags which are scheduled to be given out in early October. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • Close-up of ready-to-sew book bags kits ready for volunteers to take home and sew. 

Staff Writer
Published: 8/12/2019 9:42:13 PM

ATHOL – The Literacy Volunteers of Orange/Athol believes that it’s never too late to learn to read and never too soon for parents to start reading to their infant children.

Headquartered at the Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., LVOA will host a public Book Bags for Babies Sewing Party in the library conference room on Friday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the Annual United Way Day of Caring. Supplies and tools will be provided with donated fabric to sew cloth bags to be filled with books for the very young, and literature about services for parents of newborns and toddlers in the North Quabbin Region.

According to LVOA Program Coordinator Louise Doud, the bags are scheduled to be distributed to parents starting in early October. Doud said they are accepting donations of child-centered non-stretch cotton fabric and muslin lining no less than ½ yard for ready-to-sew Book Bags for Babies kits that volunteers can work on at home. She said she’d like to have as many book bags made as possible, and that help will also be needed to fill the bags.

Valuing Our Children of Athol provided funding for the books. “We always encourage early literacy and school readiness,” said Kena Vescovi, VOC Executive Director. “This was a great collaboration with LVOA that will benefit families.”

For adults and youth ages 16 and older, LVOA offers free, private and confidential tutoring in basic reading and writing, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) through professionally trained volunteers.

The LVOA, which is affiliated with Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, currently has 12 active volunteers, and there’s always a need for more. The LVOA will hold two informational meetings, Sept. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon to explain about becoming an adult literacy volunteer, a prerequisite to the 18-hour Basic Literacy Training which will take place Oct. 15, 19, 22 , 26 and Nov. 5 and 9. The Tuesday training will take place 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday training, 9 a.m. to noon.

Doud said ESOL tutor training, also part of the informational meeting, will start in January in Gardner with dates and times yet to be set.

Volunteers are asked to spend a minimum of three hours a week, two hours with a student, for a minimum of nine months. For more information about tutoring or the Book Bags for Babies program, call 978-249-5381 or email lvoa01331@gmail.com. The LVOA office at the Athol Public Library is open Tuesdays, 3 to 7 p.m., Thursdays, 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment.


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