Friends of Libby Library member Chris Carmon speaks to first graders at Jameson School in Old Orchard Beach on Monday morning. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Experts say that introducing children to books at a young age is one of the key ways to foster a life-long love of reading.

Local library advocates are doing just that.

A handful of members of Friends of Libby Library stopped by Jameson School to donate to students the 57 book bags they had made. Each bag contained a brand-new donated hard cover book and information on how to get a library card for the Edith Belle Libby Memorial Library.

Friends of Libby Library member Chris Carmon said many of the members of the group not only enjoy reading, but also enjoy sewing, so they made special book bags for the students.

“I hope you enjoy not only the book bags, but also enjoy coming down to the library and checking out books with your own card,” she said.

First-grade teacher Christina O’Neal said she appreciated the work the volunteers did for the students. She said she talked with her students about the importance of reading and building their “reading muscles” in their brains.

“This wonderful gift will help you build those reading muscles,” O’Neal told the students.

Friends of Libby Library promotes reading and advocates for Edith Belle Libby Memorial Library, located at 27 Staple St. The group runs “The Book Shed,” a seasonal used book store behind the library and helps raise money for special programs and projects at the library. For more information on the Friends group or to apply to become a member, visit the library or go online to https://ooblibrary.org/friends.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or [email protected]

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