Dental center installs kids’ book nook

IOANNIS PASHAKIS/Sun-Gazette Tajer King, left, and Camden King, right, are the first kids to enjoy River Valley Health and Dental Center’s new book nook that it dedicated Wednesday night.

The River Valley Health and Dental Center unveiled a new Children’s Book Nook in its waiting room Wednesday night with the help of two local authors.

The medical center, 471 Hepburn St., created the Children’s Book Nook as a way to encourage literacy among their young patients.

“We recognize the need in our area to help encourage literacy and other then just giving the kids something to do while they are in the waiting room, we wanted it to be a pleasant environment where they could have a little fun and feel comfortable before they go in and see the doctor,” said Karla Sexton, a spokesperson for the center.

The non-profit medical center had help making the nook, according to Sexton. Notre Dame Club of Greater Williamsport donated money to help fund the project, and books were donated to the nook from multiple sources including the James V. Brown Library as well as the center’s employees.

During the dedication, the center hosted two local authors, Pastor Bob Wallace and Carrie Anne Noble, who pledged to give the first 40 children to come to the event complimentary copies of their books, however it is unclear if that many children were in attendance.

Wallace has written three Christmas children’s books including “Hadassah Finds Peace,” “Abel Is Saved” and “Rigel Finds Joy.”

Noble has written two teenage novels: “The Gold-Son” and “The Mermaid’s Sister,” which has won two awards.

“It’s really nice to see all of the local talent we have and we like to encourage it,” Sexton said.

While the center is happy with the reveal of the nook, they still are looking to add to it in the future.

“We’d like to divide it from the waiting area and increase the collection of books,” said James Yoxtheimer, president and CEO of the center.