by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Leadership kids are, from left: Kevin Jarrett, Mikey Mercep, Selah Joyce, Chris Todd and Brandon Day.Leadership students at Lake Oswego Junior High collected more than 900 new books for the Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

Seventh- and eighth-graders launched the book drive, finishing it mid-December. A competition among groups of students helped motivate the young teens to donate books, which the hospital will set aside for its Read for Your Health and Reach Out and Read programs.

Through national nonprofit Reach Out and Read, medical professionals, during regular checkups, advise parents of children 6 months to 5 years old about the importance of reading and give developmentally appropriate books to the children.

Through Legacy Emanuel’s Read for Youth Health program, each child who visits the emergency department at the children’s hospital receives a book, and parents are encouraged to read the book with their children.

“The leadership students at LOJ seek opportunities to give back to the community in a meaningful way, and this book drive touched their hearts in the spirit of giving, knowing children in often traumatic situations could have a book to read and share,” Principal Robert Caplinger said.

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