Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank support Read Aloud

Read Aloud is most grateful to the Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank of West Virginia for funds they recently gave to support our Book Distribution Program.

The Book Distribution program sponsored by Read Aloud West Virginia continues to grow and provide West

Virginia’s children with access to high interest reading material. Research shows that access matters.

Just as access to a basketball and hoop are essential to building basketball skills, access to books and magazines are necessary to building reading skills.

Thank you, Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank, for enabling Read Aloud to reach even more children with high-quality reading material!

 

BB&T West Virginia Foundation helps put books in children’s hands

The BB&T West Virginia Foundation has awarded Read Aloud a $2,500 grant to support book distribution programs throughout the state. BB&T has provided similar financial support for several years, and the organization is grateful for the role they continue to play in helping Read Aloud maintain and expand its book distribution programs.

Sixty-one percent of low-income families do not have children’s books in the home, according to the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Research has found that access to books is a critical factor in educational achievement. It is such a key element that researcher and California State University professor Jeff McQuillan concluded that “the only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home.”

Read Aloud West Virginia offers comprehensive, research-based programming designed to engage families, provide consistent “commercials” for reading in the classroom and increase student access to print. Distribution of books and other high-interest reading materials through events that engage children and families is integral to our efforts. Projects vary from county to county based on availability of funds and resources. Programs offered include:

Reading Round Up

Working in conjunction with public schools, volunteers distribute books, magazines and educational materials to students and parents participating in spring Kindergarten and Pre-kindergarten Round-ups (enrollment fairs attended by a majority of students entering kindergarten). Children choose their books from a selection of titles chosen for their age group.

Snuggle and Read

Preschool students and their families are invited to a program where they receive a blanket and books of their choice. A short presentation provides information about the importance of reading aloud to children and a parent’s role in education. Children hear a story read by a Read Aloud volunteer and educational materials are provided to families.

Summer Reading Initiative

This program provides six books to each student at a designated elementary school at the end of the school year. Ideally, the program is offered to students for a minimum of three years to maximize efficacy, as the effects of summer learning loss are cumulative. Children choose the books they receive from a list of titles selected by experts in the field of children’s literacy and an end-of-year event is held to distribute the books.

Distribution by Request

Read Aloud sponsors general distribution of new and used books as funding and availability permit. It is important to distribute books in a way that is meaningful to students and involves families in the process. All schools enrolled in Read Aloud are eligible to request books through this program. Schools often request books for distribution at family fun nights and other school-sponsored events.

BB&T West Virginia Foundation has been an indispensable partner to Read Aloud West Virginia’s Book Distribution Program. Since 2008, Read Aloud has grown to serve 30 county chapters. That growth brings additional opportunities to place books in the hands and homes of children. With BB&T West Virginia Foundation’s support, the organization can provide more children the tools they need to succeed in school and life.

National Book grant books distributed throughout WV

By Lesley McCullough McCallister

Read Aloud West Virginia was selected by the Coughlan Companies Communities Fund, in partnership with GreaterGood.org (GGO), to receive a National Book grant valued at nearly $200,000. The gift includes thousands of books that will directly benefit West Virginia children and families.

A portion of those books arrived at the Read Aloud office in Charleston at the end of March. For more than eight hours on Saturday, March 25, volunteer students from Bridge Valley Community and Technical College and Charleston Catholic High School helped package and prepare more than 7,200 books for distribution to 32 Read Aloud West Virginia member schools throughout the state.

These generous volunteers performed a myriad of tasks, including making sure each book received a Read Aloud book plate so the student receiving the book could proudly write his or her name in his or her very own, brand new book. Additionally, students pushed shopping carts around tables in the Columbia Gas building auditorium with “shopping lists” for each school, packaged and labeled shipping boxes, and then loaded the boxes into the rental van for delivery. Each enrolled Read Aloud West Virginia school received 20 books per Read Aloud classroom, and deliveries were made to member schools before the end of the school year.

Executive Director Mary Kay Bond noted the importance of getting these books in the hands of students before the end of the school year, just in time to highlight the importance of summer reading among all students.

“Far too often children lose reading skills over the summer due to a lack of reading,” said Bond. “The result is that teachers have to spend important classroom time at the beginning of the next school year bringing students back to their previous skill level. This remediation time is not necessary if children maintain skills over the summer, and they can do so by reading.”

A second shipment of books is being prepared for distribution at a later time. Once the remaining books are added to the count, Read Aloud West Virginia will have distributed more than 11,000 books from the National Book grant throughout the Mountain State.

Lesley McCullough McCallister is a Read Aloud supporter, volunteer reader, newsletter contributor and a freelance journalist.

Read Aloud West Virginia receives national book grant

By Lesley McCullough McCallister

Read Aloud West Virginia was recently selected by the Coughlan Companies Communities Fund in partnership with GreaterGood.org (GGO) to receive a National Book grant valued at nearly $200,000 that includes 30,000 books that will  directly benefit West Virginia children and families.

This generous donation to Read Aloud is part of larger 250,000-book distribution campaign throughout the country to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Capstone, Coughlan’s children’s media publishing company, which creates content in a variety of print and digital formats for school libraries, classrooms and at-home learning. Read Aloud was chosen specifically by Coughlan and GGO, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the well-being of people, pets and the planet.

“At Coughlan, we are passionate about improving the lives of all children through our partnerships, innovative outreach programs, and in-kind book donations,” said Christie Skilbred, Coughlan Companies corporate giving representative. “We are thrilled to partner with GreaterGood.org to provide children in West Virginia with the tools they need for success.”

Read Aloud West Virginia Executive Director Mary Kay Bond noted that these books will be distributed later this fall to students in Read Aloud schools. Those who were hit hardest by the floods that ravaged West Virginia at the end of June will be given first priority.

“At Read Aloud, we know that access to books is a critical piece of the literary puzzle,” said Bond. “The books provided by generous organizations like Coughlan and GGO will help us to instill a love of reading in children living in literacy-poor regions.”

For additional information about Coughlan Companies and GGO, please visit www.coughlancompanies.com and www.GreaterGood.org.

Lesley McCallister is a Read Aloud supporter, volunteer and newsletter contributor and a freelance journalist.

 

BB&T West Virginia Foundation continues to support Read Aloud Book Distribution programs

By Melody Simpson

The BB&T West Virginia Foundation has awarded Read Aloud a $2,500 grant to support book distribution programs throughout the state. BB&T has provided similar financial support for several years now, and we are grateful for the role they continue to play in helping Read Aloud maintain and expand its book distribution programs.

While West Virginia’s eighth grade reading scores still lag behind the national average, in 2015 they were the only state scores in the country to show a significant improvement, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2015. However, too many West Virginia children lack access to the tools they need to succeed in school and in life, and books are one of the most important tools required for raising a generation of learners.

Read Aloud has several book distribution programs designed to address this need, including Snuggle and Read (preschool children and families), Reading Round-ups (kindergarten enrollment), Food for Thought (elementary schools), a summer reading pilot program, and even prison workshops and book clubs (to encourage adult inmates to develop reading habits and read to their children).

Thank you, BB&T, for supporting these programs and helping us put books into the hands, and homes, of West Virginia children!

Kanawha County Participates In Back-to-School Supply Drive for Flood Victims

The West Virginia Department of Education is leading a multi-county effort to help schools affected by the June flooding in West Virginia to replenish their lost supplies and provide needed materials for students. A Back-to-School Supply Drive will take place July 17-30 with collection sites operating throughout Kanawha County.

“Thousands of our children experienced the devastation of the recent catastrophic floods in our beloved state,” said State Board of Education member Beverly Kingery. “These children will soon return to school and many will return with few belongings and still much uncertainty in their lives.”

The goal of the drive is to provide each individual student in the severely affected flood areas with a book bag of school supplies. Organizers have set a goal of collecting 8,000 book bags with supplies such as pencils, ink pens and rulers.

A list of needed school supplies, grouped by grade level, is available on the West Virginia Department of Education website.

Collection sites in Kanawha County include the following locations during business hours:

After items are collected, they will be packaged by volunteers and distributed to affected schools as the new academic year begins.

More than 20 people died and thousands of homes, schools and businesses were damaged as a result of flash flooding that struck multiple counties in West Virginia in June. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has made federal disaster declarations for a number of counties.

The West Virginia Department of Education is partnering with Read Aloud West Virginia and West Virginia State University Extension Service to collect donations in Kanawha County.

For further details and a statewide list of collection sites, visit the West Virginia Department of Education website.