The UPS Store, Inc. named Read Aloud West Virginia as one of 10 non-profit organizations across the country to each receive $10,000 worth of books to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Toys for Tots® Literacy Program, which promotes children’s literacy in low-income and disadvantaged communities across the United States.
The UPS Store, Inc. will donate $10,000 worth of books from Scholastic.
The UPS Store, Inc. invited the public to nominate qualifying charitable and philanthropic groups, receiving over 1,000 submissions. Kanawha County volunteer Lesley McCallister nominated Read Aloud.
A selection committee reviewed all nominations and chose the 10 recipients based on their mission to serving children in underserved communities, especially by providing educational resources and enrichment.
“As a company committed to the cause of children’s literacy, The UPS Store, Inc. is thrilled to support the non-profit organizations and schools selected for our Literacy Recognition Program,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “These non-profit organizations exemplify a shared vision of helping children succeed through education, with a special emphasis on the importance of learning to read.”
“It’s truly thrilling,” Read Aloud Executive Director Mary Kay Bond told the Charleston Gazette Mail. “I think it is a real tribute to the work our volunteers have done, and to the people who have donated in order to help Read Aloud reboot. We’ve had a lot of individuals and corporate sponsors and foundations that have really decided this is something we’re committed to. We want to make this commitment to the children of West Virginia.”
The other nine recipients are Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; Bridge of Books, Rumson, NJ; CCs Early Learning Head Start, Wasilla, AK; Dayton Elementary School, Dayton, MT; Every Child A Reader in Escambia (ECARE), Pensacola, FL; Freedom Readers, Myrtle Beach, SC; Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library, Glasgow, KY; Poston Road Elementary, St. Martinsville, IN; and Ready Readers, St. Louis, MO.
The UPS Store® network has been the exclusive corporate supporter for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program since its inception in 2008. The UPS Store network of franchises and customers across the nation has helped raise over $4.6 million for the program equating to nearly 40 million books. Every book and financial donation during the annual drive benefits local children in need or the libraries, schools, and existing programs that serve them. Additionally, 100 percent of each dollar donated to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program at The UPS Store locations is used by Toys for Tots program to purchase books.
Children’s illiteracy remains an issue in the United States as disparities between socioeconomic groups persist. In America, a quarter of children grow up without learning how to read and 47 percent of fourth graders from low-income families read below the basic level. Additionally, there are gaps in access to books at home as the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ findings indicate that households with an income of $35,000 and under own an average of 69 children’s books, compared to 127 books in households with incomes higher than $100,000.
The books will be distributed over the coming months to each of the ten organizations. For more information, please visit theupsstore.com/bookgiveaway.