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Raising Readers Donates New Children’s Books to 120 Small & Rural Libraries

Cassandra Grantham (left), director of Raising Readers, presents a collection of new children’s books to Kate Cutko (right), director of the Bowdoinham Public Library. Photo credit: Daphne Backman.

PORTLAND, Maine – September 28, 2015 – Raising Readers, a statewide health and literacy program, recently donated new children’s book collections to 120 small and rural libraries across the state in celebration of the program’s 15th anniversary. Over the past few weeks, the program has delivered 1,450 new board and picture books to these libraries in partnership with the Maine State Library.

For years, Raising Readers has amassed a large collection of children’s books through publishers as part of the program’s book sourcing activities. In keeping with its mission, the program wanted to make these books widely available to children in Maine communities.

“Many small and rural libraries have been getting by in recent years with minimal resources for new books, especially children’s books,” said Cassandra Grantham, director of Raising Readers. “This donation recognizes the important role of those institutions in communities and enhances our shared goal of bringing books into the homes of Maine children.”

Raising Readers is a statewide initiative that provides books – free of charge – to every Maine child between the ages of birth and five through partnerships with hospitals, medical practices and healthcare providers. Since 2000, Raising Readers has reached over 228,000 individual children and distributed more than 2.25 million books.

“Libraries struggle to stretch their book budgets however they can,” said Kate Cutko, director of the Bowdoinham Public Library. “The books donated by Raising Readers are just the quality we wish every library to offer its young readers – beautiful illustrations, quality printing and engaging stories.”

Raising Readers is a collaboration between MaineHealth and EMHS and the nearly 360 hospitals, birth centers, midwifery programs and medical practices that give books to their patients. Funded by the Libra Foundation, Raising Readers is the largest health and literacy program ever undertaken in a single state.

“With this donation, Raising Readers has increased our selection of books for our youngest readers and have helped us keep them coming back for more. Hopefully, for a lifetime,” Cutko added.

For more information about Raising Readers, visit

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Franklin Community Health Network, LincolnHealth, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Health Care, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Health, Mid Coast-Parkview Health, New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland and St. Mary's Health System.


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