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From left: Stephanie Spencer, Giles Youth-Adult Partnership Vice-Chair; Caryl Allen, Giles Youth-Adult Partnership Chair; Rene’ Cox, NRVCS Community Wellness & Outreach; Theresa Cushman, Secretary, Pembroke Woman’s Club; and Helen Beavers, Pembroke Librarian and President of the Pembroke Woman’s Club. (Photo – M. Wade/NRVCS)

NRVCS, GYAP donate books to Pembroke Public Library

By Mike Wade, NRVCS

Pembroke, VA – Families and youth in the Town of Pembroke have some additional reading options to consider thanks to the generosity of employees at New River Valley Community Services (NRVCS).

On Thursday, April 11, Rene’ Cox with the NRVCS Community Wellness & Outreach team was joined at the Pembroke Public Library by Caryl Allen and Stephanie Spencer with the Giles Youth-Adult Partnership (GYAP) to make a donation of more than 60 children’s books, along with several parenting guides. Accepting the donation were Helen Beavers, Librarian, and Theresa Cushman, Secretary for the Pembroke Woman’s Club.

The donation was made possible through a mini-grant funded by NRVCS’ employee giving campaign, which supports a variety of initiatives each year that supplement services and programs provided by the agency. Cox, a veteran member of the NRVCS staff and a native of Giles County, wrote the proposal for the grant on behalf of GYAP.

In her proposal, Cox noted there are no shopping malls in the immediate area of Pembroke and that accessing retailers or “big box” stores selling reading material requires a considerable drive by residents. She went on to say that besides the 200-square-foot public library, the only other resource for youth to have free and continuous access to books is Eastern Elementary/Middle School. Cox explained that the school library serves over 700 students. “When the school closes for holidays and summer vacation, that leaves only The Pembroke Library,” she added.

“Family bonding and healthy relationships occur when a parent reads to their child,” Cox said. “Reading is the cornerstone for all academic accomplishments.”

“On behalf of the residents of Pembroke and the Pembroke Women’s Club, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to New River Valley Community Services and the Giles Youth-Adult Partnership for your generous donation to the Pembroke Library,” Beavers stated. “The Pembroke Women’s Club is dedicated to promoting literacy and access to quality reading materials. This contribution will be instrumental in helping us achieve this goal.”

Allen, who was elected Chair of GYAP earlier this year, said one of the coalition’s goals is to continue fostering community by building healthy relationships between families and available resources, including local public libraries.

“Protective factors that support education and literacy help make it possible for our children to succeed in life – while also building resiliency,” stated Allen. “Providing access to books then not only benefits the individual youth, but also the family unit, and ultimately the community at-large.”

The Giles Youth-Adult Partnership is a coalition of community leaders and concerned citizens who collaborate to enhance community wellness. GYAP’s mission is to prevent substance abuse and misuse through collaborative partnerships and actions that create safe and healthy communities. GYAP currently meets the third Tuesday of each month at 3:00 PM via Zoom. Meetings are open to interested community members. To join the mailing list or to learn more, email

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