Community Spotlight: Good Beginnings of Sullivan County, NH

Wondering where all the books go? Periodically we profile one of the many community programs that receive books from First Book for the children they serve. Special thanks to Ellie Tsetsi, Executive Director at Good Beginnings, for her help on this profile.

“One of my colleagues went on two home visits last week. In both cases, the homes were pretty bad in all the typical ways. The oven was open for heat in one, clothes hanging from the windows because the dryer was broken, a trailer filled with dogs, incredible amounts of junk and clutter, dirty dishes filled the sinks, trash overflowing, no sheets on the beds, etc. But in both homes, my eye lit on a bookcase filled with children’s books — I’d say over 25 books in each case — and all neatly stacked. Both parents talked about how much their children liked to read. In one, the home visitor videotaped the parent and child and the video consisted completely of the parent and child pointing to pictures in his books. Over ten minutes of video and no sign that the child — a very active two-year-old wanted to stop. It says something about the value of reading to children that our program has stressed–with results.

Without First Book and the donations we received, these children would not have access to quality children’s literature. The parents and children value the books, take care of the books, and most importantly, use the books. By encouraging reading activities between parents and children, Good Beginnings helps to strengthen the parent-child relationship and increase attachment between parents and children.“ – Ellie Tsetsi, Executive Director, Good Beginnings of Sullivan County, NH.

Good Beginnings is a primary prevention program offering comprehensive family support services to families living in southwestern New Hampshire. The mission of Good Beginnings is to promote the optimal health and development of New Hampshire children and families, serving over 1000 families and 1500 children annually. Good Beginnings provides services including home visits, parent education classes and support groups, case management, family literacy activities and resource and referral services.

Good Beginnings received approximately 2,200 books from the Food for the Body, Food for the Mind distribution thanks to First Book and corporate partner C&S Wholesale Grocers. This was their first direct distribution from First Book, although in previous years, Good Beginnings received 4,000 books, over the course of five years, from NH Public Television’s Ready to Learn Program, which is affiliated with First Book.

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Posted in Book Recipients, Books & Reading