By Annabelle Caraway
Literature is an important part of childhood and helps shape who people become. Reading has numerous benefits for children, including increased knowledge, appreciation and a sense of imagination. With the right book, a child’s world can be turned upside down. Heather Hindman, a past elementary school English teacher, had this in mind when creating Pass-A-Book, a community program that collects and donates children’s books.
“Seven years ago, my husband and I both left our positions to start a new company—and a new adventure. I couldn’t part with my books however, and I wound up with a garage full of books. I realized that, although they were near and dear to my heart, putting them into the hands of children would be a much better place than my garage. As I began talking to people, I found out that there were many families with children who had ‘outgrown’ their books and were happy to clean out their closets. Donations started pouring in and teachers, schools and children’s groups started requesting them,” Hindman said.
Growing this program has been her passion the past few years and is forever grateful to the community’s support, without it, this program wouldn’t be around. With COVID-19, its office is close; however, people can arrange for picking up the books at a house or another meeting place. Both Hindman and her husband individually sort each book and people can submit requests for books by genre, grade level, etc. What might seem insignificant to some people can become a child’s light.
“I am a firm believer that reading is critical not only to children’s academic success but for their general well-being. I have found that for some children struggling with difficult situations at home, reading is a welcome retreat. Those are also the children least likely to have books at home,” Hindman said.
In the future, Hindman hopes to grow Pass-A-Book by reaching more foster programs and church organizations. Also, she hopes to create Pass-A-Book Gold, which will provide books for senior citizens. To donate, people can email Hindman at firstname.lastname@example.org.