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Children and families hear stories and receive new books at temporary housing shelter in Burlington

February 6, 2012

An enthusiastic participant in CLiF's recent storytelling presentation at COTS poses with his new books - and a frightening new look!

Hundreds of individuals and dozens of families take refuge in Burlington, Vermont’s temporary housing shelters each year. The Committee on Temporary Shelter, also known as COTS, provides overnight and drop-in shelters in Burlington, as well as transitional housing, permanent housing, and support programs.

On Thursday, February 2nd, children and families gathered at the COTS headquarters in Burlington to celebrate an evening of books, stories, and literacy.  Duncan McDougall, executive director of the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), arrived with ten boxes of beautiful new children’s books and told an entertaining story to the families and children.

Duncan also gave the parents information with tips on how to make reading with children fun and easy. After his presentation, the excited children rushed to the tables to select two brand-new books to keep. Subjects ranged from dolphins, robots, and folktales, to sports, history, and children’s classics.

In addition to the books chosen by each child, CLiF donated $2,000 in new, hardcover children’s books to be used as a roving library that will move between the different COTS shelters, allowing families to read together in their free time. COTS staff also selected books for any children who could not attend the event.  Volunteers also painted young faces, and everyone enjoyed pizza and refreshments.

This CLiF presentation and book donation was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Presentations like this one are a core part of CLiF’s free literacy programs. You can learn more about CLiF’s programs and how to support our work at

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