Ann Arbor, MI — August 20, 2015 — University of Michigan dental students collected more than 200 books for children to help promote literacy development in the Ann Arbor area. The drive was sponsored as part of Reach Out and Read, a national non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by giving books to children in health care clinics and encouraging parents to read out loud to them.
Leading the School of Dentistry’s book drive were Andrei Taut and Noam Greenbaum, both third-year dental students and members of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity. Alpha Omega is a worldwide dental fraternity that promotes the profession of dentistry and fosters high standards of scholarship, leadership and character.
Taut, chair of the organization’s Philanthropy Committee, said he, Greenbaum, Assal Aslani (D4), president of the Chi Chapter of Alpha Omega at U-M, and other committee members “were looking for a new way to give back to the community.”
New and gently used children’s books were collected during a two-week drive last month. Some of the books will be available in the school’s pediatric dental clinic and some will be given to U-M affiliated clinics and health centers, mostly in low income areas. New books will be handed out to children at their well-child exam from the time they are 6 months old until they are 5 years old. Gently used books will be given to older patients or placed in clinic waiting areas for families to take home.
“Due to this overwhelming success, we want to make the children’s book drive a yearly event,” Taut said. “Next year’s goal will be to collect twice as many books as we did this year.”