Books for Collier Kids (BCK), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a steady stream of new books to children in low-income families throughout Collier County, was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Marco Island Fund of the Collier Community Foundation to provide new books for students at Marco’s Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE).
“We’re grateful to the Marco Island Fund of the Collier Community Foundation for ensuring all kindergarten through second-grade students at Tommie Barfield Elementary have access to books in the home,” explains BCK Chair Sallie Williams. “Books that they can read, share, cherish; books that help them succeed in school and life.”
Research shows that 35% of Tommie Barfield’s K-2 students are economically challenged which puts them at higher risk for academic failure, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment, low productivity, and welfare dependency. The funds will provide new, high-quality, age- and curriculum-appropriate books to the students in all of TBE’s kindergarten, first- and second grades to take home. Each student will receive their own book once a month for the entire 2023-2024 school year for a total of 2,695 new books for 245 students at TBE.
“Books inspire a child’s ability to understand how words play together, and they ignite the spark for imagination. Both are critical to success,” said Allyson Richards, Chair of the Collier Community Foundation/Marco Fund
The Collier Community Foundation provides grant dollars to nonprofit organizations for programs that show measurable results in addressing community needs. In March 2019, a group of dedicated Marco Island residents established a permanent endowment at the Collier Community Foundation, the Marco Island Community Fund, to strengthen philanthropy across Marco Island and ensure sufficient funds are available to positively impact the nonprofits and programs that serve the Marco Island community and its residents. The Fund has awarded over $140,000 to Marco Island nonprofits since its inception.
(Coastal Breeze News, May 25, 2023)