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Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - A family at the Gladstone Center for Children and Families reads the free book they received from the Clackamas Bookshelf.  Last week, preschoolers and kindergarten students at the Gladstone Center for Children and Families (GCCF) got a surprise after school: free books.

The Clackamas Bookshelf, a new nonprofit, was on hand, distributing 370 donated children’s books. A few weeks ago, the group also donated 64 board books to the GCCF’s Healthy Families program, which sends home visitors to at-risk families with new babies.

“We want to make sure that all children in Clackamas County have books to call their own,” said Katy Preston, the program’s leader. “Books are a great equalizer. Access to books in the home directly predicts reading achievement and educational success, regardless of household income and parental education.”

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