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Sheena Greitens finds trove of children's books in governor's storage

Greitens's discovery happened after she heard that there might be some left over books from past events at the mansion.

Missouri Governor-elecy Eric Greitens and his wife Sheena wait for the church bells to toll 12 noon on the steps the state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri on January 9, 2017. Greitens becomes Missouri's 56th Governor. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Missouri First Lady Sheena Greitens said a treasure trove of books discovered in the governor's mansion storage unit will be mostly donated to foster care facilities.

Greitens's discovery happened after she heard that there might be some left over books from past events at the mansion. Originally, she'd hoped to find enough to hand out at an Easter egg event next month.

But when she arrived in the storage locker last week, Greitens found about 20 boxes piled in the corner near Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations.

Greitens opened box after box, finding each one filled with children's books — picture books, easy chapter books and classic favorites. She said she found some that she had read to her children, others she had read herself growing up.

It took nearly two days and a team of about five people to clear space and sort through the hundreds of books, Greitens said. When they were finished, the books created a little library filling almost eight industrial shelves.

"I'm not sure if they all arrived at once, or if they came in at different times," Greitens said. "... It was just a whole range of books."

The titles were likely donated from a nearby Scholastic headquarters over the years, Greitens said.

She plans to give them mostly to foster care facilities — a priority that she and her husband have championed in their short time in office.

Greitens said she has been researching best practices to improve foster care in the state. Two of her priorities are to recruit foster parents and address the problem of increased numbers of young children entering the system.

"This book project is an unexpected, fun piece of that where we're able to take resources that we didn't know we had and provide them to foster care facilities around the state," she said.

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