Oelschlager gift will help close 'literacy gap'


The Center for Literacy (CFL), an extension of The University of Akron’s College of Education, has received a sizable donation of books from local author Vanita Oelschlager. The donation of 9,000 books is valued at more than $135,000.

Oelschlager, the CFL’s writer-in-residence, has pledged to bridge the “literacy gap” by getting books into the hands of as many children as possible in the Akron community. The inventive books, appropriate for children ages four to eight, include “Let Me Bee,” “My Grampy Can’t Walk,” “What Pet Will I Get,” and “Big Blue.” Her books aim to help children work through life experiences.

Oelschlager’s books will be distributed to schools and other agencies in the literacy community, including:

  • Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. - Head Start Program,
  • Kenmore Community Center,
  • Akron Public Schools - Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education),
  • Hattie Larlham’s Café,
  • Summit County Juvenile Court - CASA/GAL Program,
  • Summit Academy Akron Secondary,
  • Color Our Rainbow Academy,
  • Reach Out and Read,
  • Akron Ready Steps,
  • Summit County Health District - Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention, and
  • Canton City Schools.

“Thanks to the Center for Literacy for distributing these books, it is very gratifying to know that boys and girls across Summit County will have a chance to read about, relate to and hopefully learn from them,” says Oelschlager. “I am hoping to make a difference in the place that I live and love.”

To learn more about Oelschlager and her books, visit http://vanitabooks.com

Media contact: Sarah Lane, 330-972-7429 or slane@uakron.edu.