First Heart of Indiana United Way Book Nook Installed and Dedicated to Brian Scott
The installation of the first Heart of Indiana United Way Book Nook was celebrated on March 17 during a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at Open Door Health Services’ Madison Street location. Book Nooks, a collaborative effort between United Way and Ball State University, are designed to encourage a love of reading in places where families are naturally waiting with their children like doctors’ offices, laundromats, barber shops and beauty salons. Each Book Nook will host a collection of books for young readers as well as literacy resources for families like tips to help children learn to read, take-home literacy kits and more.
Ball State staff, faculty and students played key roles in bringing Book Nooks to life. As part of United Way’s Day of Action, Ball State Carpenter Bill Broyles constructed the first 10 Book Nook cases. University faculty and staff prepared Literacy Kits which families can take home and enjoy. The kits include a book and craft activity. As part of their “Drawn to Reading” initiative, the Graphic Arts Management program engaged local art teachers and their students to create artwork that was then digitized by Ball State students and printed as bookmarks. Both the bookmarks and Literacy Kits will be distributed at Book Nook locations.
“Ball State University’s support of United Way’s literacy work is incredible,” shared Jenni Marsh, president & CEO of Heart of Indiana United Way. “From their education experts who help with our grade level reading work, as well as all the students, faculty and staff who helped launch the Book Nooks program, to the many donors who support this work – all are making a huge impact on our community.”
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Open Door Health Services, the first Book Nook was dedicated to the memory of Brian J. Scott who worked at Ball State University and was a long-time volunteer, donor, and board member of United Way. He had a passion for education and helping those in poverty. He was instrumental in getting the university involved with Day of Action activities and increasing organized labor’s engagement with United Way.
Brian’s widow Chris Scott said, “Brian was so proud to be a part of United Way and loved to help children have the strongest start in life by making sure they were successful in reading. He would be so happy to see these Book Nooks and know they are helping kids and families enjoy reading together.”
In addition to Marsh, Ball State President Geoff Mearns and Open Door Health Services President & CEO Bryan Ayars spoke about the Book Nooks program and their organization’s role in bringing the program about. Chris Scott and other members of Brian Scott’s family cut the ribbon to open this new resource to the public.