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Erin Bendure and Ryan Van Ramshorst – students at Baylor College of Medicine and members of the inaugural 09-10 class of Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows—have a passion for promoting early childhood literacy. And they’re acting on that passion in an innovative way.

Aiming to improve and promote literacy in the clinics and emergency center of Ben Taub General Hospital (BTGH), the duo is expanding and reinvigorating two formerly separate programs: Reach Out and Read and the BOOKS Program at BTGH. The former is a nationally recognized program addressing literacy needs through pediatricians; the latter was established locally to address similar needs in the emergency center, inpatient ward and pediatric clinics of BTGH.

On September 21, thanks to the support of the Harris County Hospital District Foundation and the hard work of Bendure and Van Ramhorst, as well as the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, the Houston Astros are hosting “BOOKS Night at the Ballpark”. Game attendees are encouraged to bring donations of new and gently used children’s books to the Union Station Entrance; donations will go directly to the BOOKS Program. And if attendees purchase their tickets through this site, password BOOKS, $5 of each ticket will be donated to the BOOKS Program.

To read more about this and other projects of the Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows, click here.