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UPDATED: May 21, 2008  
Counseling Books Reach Quake-affected Children
Some 800,000 counseling books were being sent to quake-affected children in Sichuan

The Education Ministry of China said that some 800,000 counseling books were being sent to quake-affected children starting on Tuesday.

Liu Yanbing, 9, reads a book in front of a housing tent in Qingchuan County of Sichuan Province, May 18, 2008. (Xinhua)

As of Tuesday noon, the first 50,000 books had been sent to students in hard-hit Mianyang city in southwest Sichuan province, where classes have resumed in tents.

The ministry said the rest books were being printed and sent to students in other areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. The books were specially written by a dozen experts in child psychology after the quake on May 12.

Meanwhile, the ministry has organized universities to launch counseling hotlines and websites for quake victims. As of Tuesday, nine universities including the Beijing Normal University and Sichuan Normal University have opened such hotlines and websites, the ministry said.

Psychologists were also being sent to the quake areas to help counsel the children, according to the Civil Affairs Ministry.

The death toll from last week's devastating earthquake in Sichuan was 40,075 nationwide as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Another 247,645 people were injured and some 5 million left homeless in the 8.0-magnitude quake.

The quake affected 434 counties in 10 provinces and municipalities.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)

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