Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peace Corps receives books from Alcoa Kiwanis

By Linda Braden Albert

of The Daily Times Staff
Originally published: November 15. 2009 3:01AM

When Ann Crytser joined the Peace Corps in 2008 and set off for the Eastern Caribbean, she didn't lose touch with her friends in Blount County. Instead, their support is providing her students on the island of St. Vincent in the Grenadines with some important tools they need: books.

Crytser, who retired as director of public relations and marketing at Blount Memorial Hospital in August 2008, said that the nearly 200 books collected by her Blount County friends reached her several weeks ago. They are now available to the students at the rural secondary school where she co-teaches one day a week and where she works almost daily with small groups of students in a before-school and vacation reading program.

"When my Alcoa Kiwanis Club friends asked if they could send me anything, I eagerly replied, 'Books, books, books,'" Crytser said.

Jennie Bounds, who now holds the position of director of public relations and marketing at Blount Memorial Hospital, initiated the book drive for her mentor.

"I took the idea to the Kiwanis Club of Alcoa, and the group decided it would be an excellent service project, which we named the Ann Crytser Library on St. Vincent," Bounds said.

Cryter requested books on a fourth- and fifth-grade reading level for her remedial high school students on subjects that would interest teenage boys and girls in reading for pleasure. She said she received a wonderful selection of titles.

Crytser is very appreciative of the efforts.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who responded to this important need in St. Vincent," she said.