– Joe Landon for Florida Weekly – December 16, 2021
Kids must learn to read so they may read to learn. But they need books at home to help make it happen.
“Can you imagine a child growing up without a single book at home?” That’s the question originally posed by Joanne Wyss, a founder of Books for Collier Kids, formerly First Book-Collier, when they began handing out free books to Collier County students in 2005.
Since then, Books for Collier Kids has distributed 1.4 million new books for children to cherish, and read, as they build their own at-home libraries.
Without books at home, children face a huge word gap compared to those who enjoy daily at-home reading.
With the affluence that surrounds us in so many corners of the Naples area, it’s nearly impossible to fathom there being students with no books at home here in Collier County. However, with 63 percent of Collier County’s students classified as economically needy, and with some schools having populations where nearly 100 percent of the families are needy, sadly that’s still the case.