AUBURN – Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care’s Washburn Center students are helping others while they help themselves this school year by participating in Scholastic Book Clubs ClassroomsCare, a philanthropy-based literacy campaign designed to teach children about the joys and importance of reading and giving.

From Oct. 1, 2005, through Feb. 17, 2006, students from Head Start’s two Washburn classrooms, as well as others across the country, read 100 books.

In turn, Scholastic Book Clubs, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing and media company, donated 100 books to disadvantaged children nationwide, including many who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Three not-for-profit partners will ensure that the books get into the hands of the hardest to reach and neediest children. First Book, Reach Out and Read and Save the Children will receive and distribute the donations to children in under-served communities across the U.S.

“It’s wonderful to see children helping children through the ClassroomsCare program,” said Judy Newman, president, Scholastic Book Clubs. “Asking classes to read 100 books is a great way to get students to read more. And showing children – for the first time in many cases – that they can make a difference in the lives of others is so important. Through ClassroomsCare, the students of Androscoggin Head Start’s Washburn Center aren’t just reading, they’re reading to give.”

“Scholastic Book Clubs ClassroomsCare offers both students and teachers an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading and to demonstrate our spirit of service and sharing,” said Pam Redstone, head teacher

The ClassroomsCare initiative is open to all classrooms nationwide through Scholastic Book Club catalogues and the Scholastic Web site. Teachers, along with their students, can log onto to learn more about the three charities and to download a certificate of congratulations.

Applications for Head Start programs are accepted at any time. Most are free to eligible children. Call 795-4040 or visit the Web at for details. Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care is a United Way funded and Lewiston and Auburn CDBG supported agency.

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