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Lani and Greg Horan (holding books in the front row) are joined by 11-year-old LaDarien (left), Shikayia, 7, and friends as they donate books to Cardinal Glennon's Reach Out and Read program.


Lani and Greg Horan of south St. Louis are strong believers in childhood literacy. When they lost their first child on April 13, they decided the best way to honor her memory would be to help promote reading. The baby, who they named Lilian, was at 33 weeks gestation.

In her memory, the young parents began gathering books donations from family and friends. The young parents recently delivered their "Lilian's Corner" donation -- more than 1,000 books for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. They also took 1,000 books to St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Cardinal Glennon will use the books in its Reach Out and Read program, which provides free books to children at pediatric check-ups between six months and five years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. Missouri's 61 Reach Out and Read clinical locations distribute more than 110,000 new books each year. For more information, visit Reach Out and Read.

The Horans say they plan to continue their book collections for Lilian's Corner. Thanks to her parents' efforts, Lilian's legacy will be one of literacy and good health for children for years to come.

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