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Given the gift of reading, 7th-grader makes sure that others benefit, too

Growing up in a house where she never is denied a book, Kate Quinn is helping to give other children the same opportunity to benefit from reading.

After reading about the 17th annual Books for Kids campaign, sponsored by The Buffalo News and several partners, an inspired Kate reached out to classmates, relatives and other members of St. Mark's Catholic Parish in North Buffalo, where she's a seventh-grader.

Kate collected $591.59, an impressive sum that was matched by her father, Kevin.

Monday, Kate -- accompanied by her parents and two brothers -- dropped off the $1,183.18, as well as three books donated by a school secretary.

"This money goes to buy special-needs books," Deborah Patti, promotions coordinator for The News, explained to the Quinn family.

Since its inception, Books for Kids has put almost 2 million books into the hands of Buffalo-area children. This year's goal is 100,000 books and $20,000 in cash donations. The special-needs books to which Patti referred include texts in Braille.

Kate, 12, said she recently read "The Giver," which is on the book list recommended by Project Flight, a Books for Kids partner. She also has made her way through the "Twilight Saga" and "Harry Potter" series.

"Kate grew up in a house where she was never denied a book," said her mother, Therese. "That's one thing her father is passionate about."

"It's hard to know there are kids out there that don't have any books," Therese Quinn said.

The Books for Kids campaign continues through April 30.

Donations of new books, suitable for children up to age 14, are accepted at every branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Wegmans supermarkets in Erie and Niagara counties, Barnes & Noble bookstores and Junior League headquarters, 45 Elmwood Ave.

Checks can be made payable to: Books for Kids, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Online donations can be made by visiting buffalo.com/booksforkids.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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