Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Focus of library is to inspire love of reading, build community, spark creativity.

DESIREE BERGSTROM/MADRAS PIONEER - A Little Free Library has been set up outside St. Charles Family Care Madras.St. Charles Family Care Madras has opened a tiny library with the hope it will play a big role in inspiring children to read.

In partnership with Little Free Library — a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a love of reading, building community and sparking creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world — the clinic held a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 24, near the main entrance of St. Charles Madras.

"We're really trying to help children of all ages and backgrounds have access to age-appropriate books," said Marcus Thompson, a community health educator at St. Charles Family Care Madras. "We thought building a Little Free Library and installing it right outside the clinic would be a fun and easy way to help our community connect and increase early literacy in our youth."

Research shows that children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books, even when controlled for other key factors. Little Free Libraries, like the one opening at St. Charles Madras, play an essential role in providing access to books in areas where books may be scarce.

Funded by a St. Charles Foundation mini-grant, the Little Free Library will help augment efforts already underway to promote reading among children, including the Reach Out and Read program at St. Charles Family Care Madras. The library will be stocked from books donated by that program, as well as from caregivers, community members and the Foundation.

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System Inc., headquartered in Bend, owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters.

St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to local communities.


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