By Joe Bachman
NEKOOSA — Employees from Nekoosa’s Domtar Mill donated their time and a plethora of books to local area youth on Wednesday.
First on the docket was Humke Elementary, where Domtar employees read to Humke students, as well as donate 100 books to the school. Each of the 81 students at Humke was given a book to take home, with the remaining books donated to classroom libraries. Soon after that, students were given the opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus and Rudolph on Domtar’s parade float.
“Domtar has provided hundreds of thousands of brand new books to underserved children across North America with our First Book partnership—it’s a cause that is close to our hearts and core to our business,” said Domtar Corporate Responsibility Manager, Heather Alverson Stowe. “Domtar is committed to promoting literacy, one of our core corporate giving pillars, by putting books in the hands of children in the communities in which we live and operate, like Nekoosa.”
Domtar employees weren’t done yet, as they headed over to Chak Ha Chee Head Start Childcare Center to read to their students, each of whom were able to take a brand new book home with them. Much like Humke, soon after the children had their photo-ops with St. Nick, himself.
As part of its Powerful Pages campaign, Domtar has partnered with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books to children in need, since 2012 to provide more than half a million dollars in grants to schools and programs in towns that are home to Domtar facilities. Domtar’s grants provide funding to educators to purchase books through the First Book Marketplace, a website available exclusively to First Book programs, and then the school’s children are able to bring home the new books.
“Access to books is transformational in the lives of our children and the educators who serve them,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. “Domtar’s work with First Book has opened up a world of opportunities to children who might not otherwise have books at home.”