For the love of literacy

Children in the Summer Outreach Club assist Crank in unloading boxes of books.

Crank and Corey Allison informing students about the donation and the importance of reading.

Summer outreach club kids and volunteers along with Miss Northwest, Morgan Crank (center).

Students at the 14th Street Community Center were surprised by the arrival of new books on June 16 thanks to River Days candidate, Morgan Crank, who represents Northwest School District.

Crank’s platform, Literacy for Life, focuses on instilling an early loving for reading in young children.

“I’m trying to get kids excited about reading and literacy because that’s the foundation of all their other subjects,” said Crank. “I wanted to help foster relationships between parents and the kids through reading.”

Thanks to the help of classmates and donors, Crank was able to donate boxes full of new and gently used books to the 14th Street Community Center library.

The center hosts a variety of youth outreach programs, aimed at keeping children from turning to drugs. Currently, the Counseling Center’s Summer Outreach program operates out of the building. The program will continue throughout the summer and according to program director, Corey Allison, the books will be a great asset.

“The kids will have the option to take some of the books home with them and the rest will be used in our library here. We’re certainly going to be utilizing these books, we have quiet times where the kids can read and we also have reading times as well,” explained Allison. “We’ve also teamed up with Portsmouth Cinema, the kids will be going to a movie at the end of this month and the end of July. Their admission is a small paragraph about a book of their choice, we call it the bookworm movie program. It gives them a chance to fill that summer learning loss and keeps them in tune with the educational side and prepares them for school.”

Crank also partnered with the Portsmouth Public Library and the Kiwani’s Club to sponsor a night of reading and activities at the Portsmouth Public Library, 1220 Gallia Street on July 31 from 1-3 p.m.

“We’re going to be hosting reading circles and the kids can rotate between them, my sister queens will also be there and they’ll be reading to the kids as well. We’re also going to have tables with activities and games involving other subjects like science, math and art. We’ll also be having little prizes and things that the kids can win as well.”

River Days festivities will take place August 31 through September 4. For a full schedule of events, please visit

To follow Morgan on her journey as Miss Northwest 2017, you can find her on Facebook by searching ‘Miss Northwest 2017.’

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley – Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.