Union encourages reading
A rainy Saturday didn’t stop members of the Professional Staff Nurses Association in Akron, Ohio, from showing up to hand out books. The nurses joined with the First Book organization and community partners to give away more than 3,000 free books to Akron children and families in September.
PSNA, an affiliate of the Ohio Nurses Association, which represents nurses at Akron General Medical Center, has made creating partnerships in the community a priority. “Our members want to be recognized by our service, not only in the hospital but in the community as well,” says Amy Law, a registered nurse and secretary of the local.
The nurses have worked with South Street Ministries as well as other groups in the community to achieve their goal. They have solicited donations of food and money for the local food bank and also have collected school supplies for disadvantaged children.
The fall book distribution was funded by PSNA members and the American Federation of Teachers. “We are delighted to be working with several groups to get these books into the hands of children who otherwise would not be able to afford them,” says Law. “As health professionals, we know how important reading and learning are for the full development of all children.”
Picking up on their own professional acronym, the nurses have created a “Reading Nook” (RN) at the South Street Ministries’ building, replete with a bookcase and table to create a comfortable, welcoming place for the children the ministries serve. The nurses now are working on a plan to present to hospital administrators; the RNs want to create similar reading nooks stocked with books for young visitors at the hospital.