Family Service of Chester County (FSCC) is pleased to announce that its free books program will continue during 2013. Last year the West Chester-based social service agency gave away 305 free books; this year the agency expects to give away even more.
“Divorce can be painful and confusing for children,” said Burroughs Mack, FSCC’s executive director. “These books are meant to help parents, teachers, and other caring adults talk early and often to kids in this situation.”
With help from a children’s librarian, a social worker and a counselor, FSCC researched the best books available for preschoolers, elementary students, and middle and high school students. Money to purchase the books came from private donations.
Books may be ordered by filling out a form on the FSCC Web site (http://www.familyservice.us/books-for-kids-of-divorce/). Delivery usually takes one week. Multiple book orders are honored as supplies permit. Don Harting, a student at West Chester University and a volunteer at FSCC, ships the books from his home in Downingtown.
Book titles currently available under the program include “Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce,” for preschoolers; “Dinosaurs Divorce,” for elementary students; “Hatchet,” for middle schoolers, and “Split in Two: Keeping it Together When Your Parents Live Apart,” for high school students.
Since the program began in December of 2011, 316 books have been shipped to requesters in eight states. Most requesters reside in Chester and Lancaster counties, but a few requests have come from as far as Oregon and California. Recently, large multiple book orders have been placed by a nonprofit children’s agency in Erie, Pa. and a middle school in Berwick, Pa.
Currently the program is promoted to participants of the Children in the Middle parenting class at Chester County Family Court. All divorcing parents in Chester County are required to attend the class. During 2013, FSCC plans to expand book distribution into waiting rooms of pediatric clinics and family law offices.
Burroughs Mack is the executive director Family Service of Chester County. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.