“Reading Buddies” program

December proved to be a great kick-off for a partnership program between The Murfreesboro Woman’s Club and Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department.

The “Reading Buddies” program places children’s books in the hands of first responders who encounter children under the most stressful circumstances.

On December 15, Barnes and Noble at The Avenue hosted a Book Fair and generously offered The Woman’s Club a percentage of sales from a four hour period of the day to jump start the program.

According to Woman’s Club Member Rebecca Cross, the event was a total success, raising approximately $1,800 toward purchasing books to be placed on MFRD’s frontline apparatus.

“We are extremely appreciative of The Woman’s Club and their efforts to begin this amazing project,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. “Providing children a small piece of comfort during a stressful situation can go a long way.”

Cross adds to Foulks’ comment by saying, “The ability to comfort a child with kind words coupled with books, engenders a lifetime relationship of finding solace and enjoyment in reading.”

If you would like to know more about how you can help the program, please contact Rebecca at r50cross@yahoo.com.

History of The Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro
The Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro began in 1887 with 12 ladies who possessed a love of reading and literacy. Each lady donated one book, and books were housed on the counters of a local drug store. By 1911, several members of the original reading group organized The Murfreesboro Library Association, and by 1916 had over 2,000 books and periodicals, moving its collection from location to location. The Library Association needed a permanent home for its collection, and the founding members of The Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro located its present home at 221 East College, raised the funds to purchase it, and purchased the building in 1916.

Books owned by the Library Association were moved to their new home in The Woman’s Club Library in 1916, and became the first public lending library in Rutherford County. The Woman’s Club Library operated the only public lending library from 1916 until 1948, when Linebaugh Public Library was formed.

The library at the Woman’s Club remains a viable library for members and others in the community needing access to its volumes of rare, first edition, and out of print books for resource and research availability. The Woman’s Club of Murfreesboro was incorporated in 1916; celebrated its 100th anniversary on July 22, 2016; and was designated as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity in 2016.

The Woman’s Club continues to offer community outreach programs involving literacy opportunities for some of the most underserved segments of our local community.

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