First Book celebrates milestone in giving books to Collier kids
Florida Weekly – March 19, 2015
First Book-Collier County has distributed more than 500,000 new books to pre-K Head Start children as well as kindergarten, first- and second-grade students in Title 1 schools across Collier County since the nonprofit organization was founded in 2005.
Each month throughout the school year, each child in the FBCC program receives a new book from FBCC. Classroom teachers plan lessons around the books, and then the children get to take their books home “to keep, treasure and share with their families,” explains Joanne Wyss, co-founder and board chair.This year, FBCC will distribute approximately 77,000 books to nearly 7,000 students in 392 classrooms.Kamela Patton, superintendent of Collier County Public Schools, calls First Book “a major force in our community to increase literacy for young children who need this help the most.”Research shows that children of lowincome families start pre-school with onefourth the vocabulary of their more affluent peers. With books from FBCC, children can develop their reading skills and build their home libraries. Family reading time has become a new and cherished tradition.FBCC is able to purchase top quality books at deep discounts through the national First Book marketplace. The local effort depends on private donations to finance the purchase and distribution of books. A $25 donation equates to books for one child for the school year; a gift of $500 provides books for an entire class for the school year.FBCC is a fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County. For more information or to make a donation, visit firstbookcolliercounty.org.