County initiative honored as OPHA Public Health Program of the Year

OPHA awardAlready helping put books in the hands of youngsters in Pottawatomie County, the Pioneer Library System’s partnership with the Pottawatomie County Health Department and the Avedis Foundation now has gained a state honor. The Oklahoma Public Health Association has named the program as its Public Health Program of the Year.

The program has an emphasis on targeting low-income families, such as those with mothers involved in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), who may be less likely to be able to provide books to their children.

A $6,000 donation from Avedis is supplying free books that are being given away to children when their families visit the Pottawatomie County Health Department for vaccinations, well-baby checks and other medical needs.

The initial rollout of books features about 1,000 total books and 140 different titles, with board books, paperbacks and hardbacks included. Books were selected by staff from the Pioneer Library System’s Readers Services department.

The award was presented by OPHA to McLoud Public Library Branch Manager Wanda Haynes, PLS Readers Services Manager Jenny Stenis and the Pottawatomie County Health Department's Jessi Ryel at a banquet Sept. 27 in Tulsa.