"From the start, it was a grass-roots effort," said Ann Roznovsky, co-founder of the program.
Roznovsky, former marketing director for the Tribune-Herald , was inspired to start Storybook Christmas when she attended the 1990 convention of the International Newspaper Promotion Association.
The convention recognized a program, also called Storybook Christmas
, launched two years earlier by the Lexington Herald-Leader
A columnist at the newspaper had floated the idea that charities should give children books instead of just toys, and readers wrote in, persuading her
to take on that effort.
saw the need for children to own their own books was as pressing in inner-city Waco as in the Appalachians, and she
pitched the idea for a Waco Storybook Christmas when she
returned to work.
Larry Browning of the literacy council worked with Roznovsky
to establish and expand the program.
said people can help by donating and raising money or new children's books.
The books can be dropped off at the Tribune-Herald
, Barnes and Noble
and post offices around the county.
This weekend, Barnes and Noble
is donating a portion of sales from its books to the program for customers who request it.
Monetary donations may be addressed to Storybook Christmas
, P.O. Box 6088, Waco 76706-6088.
said some families have made Storybook Christmas part of their holiday tradition.
"Some families get their children to pick out their favorite book from when they were in third grade," she
own favorite: "The Little Engine That Could."
"If the message of that book could be instilled in every child in McLennan County, we'd have no problems," she