POE REPs deliver children’s book to Oklahoma elementary schools; help with literacy rates

POE has teamed up with Norman veterinarian and author Dr. John Otto to distribute a children’s book titled, “Marvin’s Gift,” to elementary schools across Oklahoma. The book is designed to help with literacy rates and help children deal with anger issues; particularly children of incarcerated parents.

“Marvin’s Gift” is the heartwarming tale of a troubled young boy and his sister as they magically encounter an angelic figure named Marvin. One night, 11-year-old Logan breaks his sister’s toy and angrily decides to run away. Throughout the story, Marvin leads the children – whose father is incarcerated – to understand that there are people who care about them and want to help them.

“Our hope is that this book will find a place with a school counselor, school librarian or with teachers who work on the front lines with the children of the incarcerated,” Dr. Otto said.

Region 5 REP Don Gordoni delivers a copy of “Marvin’s Gift” to Lisa Merrill, the librarian at Morris Elementary School.

According to the OK Messages Project, statistics show that two out of 14 American children have a parent who has been incarcerated or is incarcerated. More than 5 million children in America are negatively impacted by parental incarceration.

“The book is a delightful and moving story which I believe will benefit our student body best by being in the counselor’s office, at her fingertips to share in a moment’s need.”

– Denise Klein, MLIS (librarian), Council Oak Elementary School in Tulsa

So far, POE REPs have distributed more than 550 copies of “Marvin’s Gift.”

This book is available to schools via a collaborative effort of POE, Dr. Otto and Otto Production, Harris Foundation, Doodle and Peck Publishing, and the prison dog training program, Friends For Folks. Dr. Otto has been named the 2022 Veterinarian of the Year by the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association.

How you can help

To help with the distribution and additional printing of Marvin’s Gift, donations can be made at www.ProfessionalOklahomaEducators.org/MarvinsGift

Norman veterinarian and author Dr. John Otto reads “Marvin’s Gift” to 44 kindergarteners at ASTEC Elementary School.

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