Students who take part in the Kindergarten Countdown program at Knox Elementary School this summer will each get a book of their own to take home every day of the three-week enrichment experience. IU Health Starke Hospital and the Knox Community School Corporation are joining forces for a community book drive. Knox Curriculum Director Peggy Shidaker says books should be appropriate for youngsters in the 4 to 5 years old age range. She says books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, books from “Pete the Cat” series by Kimberly and James Dean and favorite like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff are extremely popular. They all teach children sequencing and predicting, which are fundamental to brain development. Books can be dropped off at the front desk at IU Health Starke Hospital or at the main offices of Knox Elementary, Middle or High Schools through Friday, May 23. Books do not have to be new. Shidaker says “gently” used copies of books your children might have outgrown are fine. Discount and thrift stores are also good places to buy picture books for children. The Kindergarten Countdown is open to children who have little or no prior preschool experience.