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100 People Who Care help put ‘A book in every child’s hand’

At the celebration of giving and receiving $11,300 from 100 People Who Care Prince Edward, from left, are: Peta Shelton, Sarah Crawford, Duncan Payne, Sandy Norval, Wendy Matthews, Anne Preston, Bill Roberts and David Fox.

Children who are ‘reluctant readers’ will benefit from an $11,300 donation from 100 People Who Care PEC to the County Kids Read program.

The 100 People Who Care group is based on the simple concept of bringing together members who commit to contribute $100 at each of four meetings annually, to make an enormous impact on a local charity.

Anne Preston, of County Kids Read, said the program is honoured, and grateful, for the donation which will go toward buying new books for children who are hesitant about reading. She notes County Kids Read will also talk about formulating a special program for this group in the fall.

“We may look to graphic novels, or what are called high-low books (high interest, low vocabulary) and with this money we will also buy books for the very young children.

“In middle class families there’s a ratio of 30 to 40 books per child in the home,” said Preston. “By comparison, in low income families the ratio is one book for 300 kids. We want to bring that number up. The statistic is overwhelming.”

And while reluctant readers have nothing to with income, she noted that not reading well correlates to not graduating and is why the program’s thrust is the early childhood level.

“It’s why we’re really pushing the books and intervening in the early years, because it’s so critical to a child’s development and their success – not just academically, but socially, economically and to the community as well.”

The County Kids Read program was the perfect choice for this quarterly donation, said 100 People Who Care PEC founding member Richard Byers. “It’s the perfect group for us – small, not seen so much, the kind we want to root out to support. Our members feel the same way.”

The 10-year-old program is run by up to 30 volunteers out of the St. Mary Magdalene Church Parish Hall.

County Kids Read distributes about 500 new books every month at class visits and visits from other organizations such as the HUB Child and Family Centre, and Community Living. It also delivers books through 17 partner organizations, including the County’s food banks, the library, the Recreation Outreach Centre, and Children’s Aid and Child Care Services.

“The books are theirs to keep. They are stamped and have bookplates for children to write their names in them, giving them ownership,” said Preston. “Our tag line is ‘A book in every child’s hand’.

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  1. Susan says:

    Absolutely an amazing group!! We see the benefits every year with this program thx

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