WARREN - Wanting to make sure children staying at Akron Children's Hospital have books to read, a local Girl Scout is collecting children's books through May 15 as part of her Scouting Silver Award Project.
Kelsey Namola, 13, of Troop 598 said originally she was planning to do a craft for children at Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley, but learned there was already a group doing that.
"I learned that they needed new books so I planned a book drive," Namola said.
Namola said the books should be geared to children up to age 12.
"My mom when she was a child spent time in the hospital for seizures and used to get a craft for 50 cents from a little cart that came around. She thought that I should do something for children staying at the hospital," Namola said.
The drive started March 1 and will continue through May 15.
The project has already been approved by the Girl Scout board. She just has to compile the work and hours involved when she delivers the books in May.
Her mother, Heather Namola, said when Kelsey delivers all the books her project will be completed.
Namola said she would like to get 700 new books but is aiming for 1,000.
As of mid-March she had more than 100 books and $60 in donations to get more books.
"With the monetary donations I will take her the week before the deadline to purchase more books. Those will be added to what she is able to collect," said Heather.
Kelsey said she will also ask local bookstores about donations or discounts on books.
The eighth-grader has been in scouting for nine years and said her friends have helped her get boxes for the books as a show of support.
"They have given me boxes to place in different locations for donations," Namola said, including doctor's offices connected with Akron Children's Hospital.
She said the books would not only be offered during hospital stays but also at doctor's appointments.
Books can be dropped off from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Monday, 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday and 7 to 10 p.m. each Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1927 E. Market St., Warren, or 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Girl Scout offices, 8580 South Ave., Youngstown.