Keeping Literacy Alive: Inmates Receive Books from Valencia


Professors Karen Cowden, Nicole Spottke and Lauren Ehrmantraut find old titles that make them smile and find joy in passing along the many books to enlighten others.

A Message from Karen Cowden, Professor of Reading

We are a generous group of faculty and staff and want to share our love of literacy with all.

In the spring, the Reading Initiative Group, formed of faculty in the West Campus Communications Department, asked a question of Valencia faculty: “Would you be willing to bring in books to be donated to our prisoners?”

The response was tremendous.

By the end of the book-packing day, we received an impressive 1,003 books of all genres to donate to the Orange County Correctional Facility.

We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to those of you who contributed books, sent out information about the drive and conveyed interest with the packaging and delivering of the books.

This effort all started from a conversation at a meeting last fall and a preliminary donation made by Nicole Spottke, professor, English. Last December, we discussed that we wanted to run a larger-scale drive — and just look at what we’ve accomplished! Mountains of books were forming in both East and West Campus communications offices. Donations were also welcomed at the Osceola Campus.

I, along with the following Reading Initiative members appreciate Valencia’s generosity:

  • Lauren Ehrmantraut, chair and professor, English
  • Stacey DiLiberto, professor, English
  • Robert McWhorter, professor, English
  • Elizabeth Perrell, professor, speech
  • Nicole Spottke, professor, English
  • Tina Tan, professor, speech

This book drive came together quickly and was immensely successful. We look forward to even more successful donations in the future.


  • Donna said:

    Good job! Love the smile Nicole!!!

    PMThu, 09 Jun 2016 15:57:05 +0000Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:57:05 +0000pm16,3:57 pm

  • Falecia Williams said:

    Impressive work! Thanks, R.I.G.

    AMFri, 10 Jun 2016 06:48:01 +0000Fri, 10 Jun 2016 06:48:01 +0000am16,6:48 am

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