Books for Collier Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a steady stream of new books to children in low-income families throughout Collier County, is partnering with the Collier County Sheriff Office to distribute books to children during Hot Summer Nights events this June and July.
“We’re excited to collaborate with CCSO for Hot Summer Nights 2022 because getting books into the hands, homes and hearts of children is crucial, especially during the summer months,” said Books Chair Sallie Williams. “Without steady access to books over the summer, children enter the next school year with reading skills 30% lower than their peers, a phenomenon known as ‘summer slide’.”
In addition to a Books for Collier Kids volunteer working with a sheriff’s officer to distribute age-appropriate titles to children, the free, family-friendly Hot Summer Nights feature a bounce house, corn-hole games, water balloon station, foosball, karaoke, movies, Wii games, music and dancing. Complimentary hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones are also provided during the events which take place 6-8:30 p.m. on select Thursdays through July:
• June 16: Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park
• June 23: Ave Maria Park
• June 30: Golden Gate Community Park
• July 14: Eagle Lakes Park
• July 21: Marco Island Mackle Park
• July 28: Everglades City Park
“Reading truly is fundamental to success in school and life,” says Sergeant Natalie Ashby – 3729, diversity outreach coordinator, Community & Diversity Services Bureau, Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “Without basic literacy skills, children are at greater risk for academic failure, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment, low productivity and welfare dependency so partnering with Books for Collier Kids fits nicely with our promise to protect and serve our community.”
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is led by Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, who lives by the philosophy of “service to others before self.” CCSO provides law enforcement and related services to our county’s citizens and visitors. The duty of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is to preserve and protect the lives, property and constitutional guarantees of all persons.
Books for Collier Kids provides new books to children-in-need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy: access to books. Launched in 2005 as First Book-Collier County, BCK has distributed nearly 1.5 million new, high-quality, age-appropriate and personalized books to pre-K, kindergarten, first and second-grade students in-need to enhance their literacy development.
The all-volunteer charity partners with more than 20 local organizations, including the Collier County Public Schools, Friends of Foster Children Forever, Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, Guadalupe Center, Grace Place for Children and Families and Christ Child Society of Naples.