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 Book Drive Started to Help Children Affected by Attack in Squirrel Hill 

The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development aims to provide resources for children affected by the tragedy in Squirrel Hill

 

In response to the tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue and other acts of hate and gun violence, the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development and its partners in the Pitt Early Childhood Community are organizing a children’s book drive to help children make sense of their emotions and answer their questions.

A team of early childhood professionals at the Office of Child Development has selected books that help children recognize the emotions they may be feeling and begin to process them with the important adults in their lives. The list also includes books that teach children to embrace diversity and celebrate our differences.

 

The Office of Child Development hopes to collect at least 8,000 books, which will be distributed to schools and early childcare providers in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding areas.

 

Donations can be made by purchasing books from this link to the Office of Child Development’s Amazon Wish List. Books will be shipped to the Office of Child Development and promptly delivered to community early childhood professionals.

 

“Our hearts ache for the children and families affected by this and other recent acts of violence, and we mourn the loss of so many lives in the entire city of Pittsburgh,” said Dr. Shannon Wanless, director of the Office of Child Development. “Books can be a powerful tool in helping the youngest and most vulnerable among us connect with the important adults in their lives and heal after tragedy. We hope adults will use these books to tell children that we are here to help them when they are afraid.”

 

The book drive is part of an ongoing response by the Office of Child Development and its partners in the Pitt Early Childhood Community, including Falk School, the University Child Development Center, and early childhood programs in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.


About The Office of Child Development 

Established in 1986, the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development is a university-community partnership dedicated to bringing research and practice closer together to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. Through collaborations across research, practice, and policy, the Office uses its expertise to address challenges facing children in Pittsburgh and around the world.

 
All of us in the Pitt Early Childhood Community are grieving the loss of 11 innocent lives at Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday. We grieve with the Pittsburgh community, the Jewish community both locally and abroad, and with the world of children and families whose lives are affected by ongoing acts of hate and gun violence.
 
This tragedy has elicited fear, anger, and sadness, and many of us feel the urge to help. You can do that by supporting the children affected by the tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue in a concrete way. Join the Office of Child Development and our Pitt Early Childhood partners in donating books to children processing with traumatic events that are occurring so close to home.

We have carefully created a list of books designed to help children understand how to manage fear and embrace diversity. When we distribute them to early childcare facilities in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding areas, we will offer advice to providers about talking with children about these topics.

 
Our goal is for every child in the area to have access to these books. In order to accomplish that, we need at least 8,000 books donated. Here is how you can help:
Click on this link to access the list of books approved by early childhood experts, select how many books you would like to purchase, and complete the purchase, ensuring that the recipient is Pitt’s Office of Child Development. We will deliver the books to schools and early childcare providers immediately upon receiving them.

In this painful time, we must ensure that the youngest and most vulnerable among us are cared for. The Tree of Life tragedy is one terrible instance, in a string of hatred and gun violence that is too commonplace in our country and is disproportionately affecting children of color. It is time to tell our children that we see this issue, we are here to help them. It is not acceptable for them to have to feel this fear and discrimination.
 
Please consider purchasing books and inviting others to do the same by sharing this flyer.
 
Your kindness and generosity will directly help young children in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding areas.
 
Our deepest thanks from the Office of Child Development and our partners in the Pitt Early Childhood Community.
 
Sincerely,
Shannon Wanless, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor
Office of Child Development
School of Education
University of Pittsburgh
 
 
Special thanks to our partners in the Pitt Early Childhood Communty:
 

 

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