Thanks to an Emerging Community Leaders team, 516 books will be in the hands of local children who may not own many books of their own. As part of their team project, 6 ECL members hosted a Virtual Book Drive. From October 7th-25th, 2013, they solicited contributions to help provide books to children birth to 5 in our community.
Did you know up to 50% of children in Champaign County are not ready for their first day of kindergarten? Many kindergarteners walk into their elementary schools and don’t know the alphabet or even how to spell their name. United Way has launched an effort called “Prescription to Read” to help reach children who are most at-risk of entering kindergarten unprepared.
All the funds the ECL team raised were used to buy books for local Champaign County health care facilities. For every $2.50 donated to the Virtual Book Drive, one brand-new book was purchased for a child. For some, this may be the first book they have ever owned. The team did a great job getting the word out about their fundraiser, appearing on WCIA's Morning Show and ciLiving.
How do the books reach the children? When children birth to 5 in Champaign County visit a participating health care facility, a doctor will use the book as a tool to see if the child is developing properly. Motor skills, shape and color recogniton, and basic reading are just some of the skills doctors can look for. After the appointment the child and caregiver will recieve a “Prescription to Read” from the doctor and bring their new book home with them!
Thank you, ECL, for leading the way and helping build early literacy in our community.
Interested in hosting a Prescription to Read fundraiser? Contact Mary Noel at United Way, 217-352-5151, for more information.