First Book

Hiko Ignacio, Cascade Locks School, shows the books he received last spring from First Book.                         Contributed photo 

Children in Hood River County and Wasco County are ready to go on adventures and see new places during the 2021-2022 school year!

After a difficult past year, children need a brighter school year ahead. You can help make this happen by donating to the effort of First Book Hood River County and First Book Wasco County. Both local literacy efforts have a goal of raising $6,000 for the fall/winter school period.

First Book is a national literacy effort providing books to children who can’t afford to purchase their own books. Due to the First Book National Marketplace, teachers can select popular, quality books for an average price of $3. Through local literacy programs, First Book encourages families to make reading an important time in their busy lives. Research has shown that providing new books to children in need addresses one of the most important factors affecting literacy.

In Hood River County, the target this fall will be the ExCEL After School programs at Cascade Locks School, Mid Valley Elementary, Parkdale Elementary, and Wy’east Middle School, May Street Elementary English Language Learners Program, Oregon Child Development Coalition (Migrant Head Start), and The Next Door Klahre House Alternative School. In the past, the children have said in the ExCEL After School Program, “Really! We get to keep these (books)?” A student at The Next Door Klahre House is paraphrased in the following quote:

“I have been under the jurisdiction of DHS since I was 11 years old and have been in many treatment programs over the years. I haven’t had many books to read, but I love to read. My favorite books are books about different realities and supernatural beings so that I can escape into new worlds. Reading helps me cope with my stress. The Klahre House library has many books that I love to read, and the book grant was very exciting for me to be able to purchase my own books. I’ve read some of them more than once now. I also like knowing that these books are mine, as opposed to having to return them to the library.”

In Wasco County, the target this fall are Chenowith Elementary, Colonel Wright Elementary K-3 and Celilo Preschool. This past year, we heard from parents and children who received First Books:

“The books and activities sent home this past year were a life saver.”

“Thank you for the beautiful books and activities, my child and I have enjoyed reading them together.”

“The students were very thankful for the new books to take home. After they received the books they wanted to sit and read the books over and over again.”

Please make a difference by helping these kids who are “Going places with books.” You can send your tax-deductible check to First Book Hood River County, P.O. Box 221, Hood River, OR 97031 or First Book Wasco County, P.O. Box 82, The Dalles, OR 97058.

If there are any questions about either of these literacy efforts, contact Nancy Johanson Paul at