Grant for books provided by the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.

During her career as an educator, Whitney Holliday has gained a deep appreciation for the importance of reading. That may help explain the elation felt Friday by the new director of the Parents as Teachers program in Hannibal after learning she was being awarded a $500 grant for books from the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.

“What an exciting morning to have someone come and present a life-sized check. This has never happened before,” said Holliday. “We're just so excited to receive this grant. It's going to aid us in supplying families with books. It's our hope to provide a book to the families we serve on our first visit so they can have books to instill the love of literacy and the love of reading with their children.”

On hand to make the presentation was Jane Callis, Region 3 vice president of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. Holliday's grant, which Callis noted is for the “purchase of books for babies and toddlers,” was one of six grants chosen by a committee to receive funding in Region 3 which consists of 14 counties in northeast Missouri. Twenty-eight grant applications were received from throughout the region.

Although Callis had more grants to present, those recipients will be hard pressed to match Holliday's enthusiasm.

“She was very elated and she was so thrilled to be giving it to Parents as Teachers here in Hannibal,” said Callis.

Titles to be added will come from the Parents as Teachers National Center's book list.

“We have a whole host of books to add to our collection and we're excited to share those with our families,” said Holliday.

How far will the grant money go when it comes time to purchase books?

“It will help many families,” said Holliday. “It will help our educators be able to get some different titles to go with the lessons through the Parents as Teachers National Center, so we'll be able to extend this $500 grant to many, many families that we serve.”


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