Book Angels 2011 program underway

Valley Bookseller is once again sponsoring the "Book Angel" program that provides new books to children and teenagers who participate in the FamilyMeans youth programs in the Landfall and Cimarron communities. For the eighth year in a row, Valley Bookseller at 217 Main Street North in Stillwater will display the "Book Angel" tree through December 20 so customers can select an angel adorned with a child's name, age, gender, reading level and interests. Once a book is purchased, Valley Bookseller will hold the book for FamilyMeans staff members who will wrap and distribute the books to the appropriate children prior to the holiday.

"The Book Angels program is a great way to promote reading at an early age," said Jaime Staska, children?s program coordinator at Cimarron. "Watching a child's face light up when they receive a new book of their own is so exciting. It's because of the generosity of so many who make this program possible."

Some of the books on this year's wish list include the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," "Twilight" and "Doll People" series as well as books about school and friendship. Younger readers enjoy authors such as Mo Willems (author of "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!") and Victoria Kann (author of the "Pinkalicious" series), among others.

FamilyMeans began the Youth Development Initiative at Landfall in 1993 and at Cimarron in 2008. The youth programs provide structured, safe, supervised locations each weekday where children and teenagers from the two communities participate in a range of activities including academic enrichment, community service and leadership development as well as sports, recreation and arts experiences.