Sitting ‘crisscross-applesauce’ under the warm spring sun, little readers listened eagerly as guest readers from the community shared storybook favorites with children. The books were purchased through a generous donation by Macy’s through the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program.
RIF is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the Unites States. RIF prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most.
Macy’s donated $18,060 for the purchase of 9,030 books that will be distributed to area Head Start children. Head Start centers throughout the community will host various activities designed to promote literacy and a love for books.
“We want to thank Macy’s for their support of literacy in our community,” said Yvonne Palacios, Region 19 Head Start Program Manager for Education Development Preschool. “Their donation allowed us to purchase books for every Head Start child served in our program.”
At Pete Duarte Head Start, officers from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department spent a day reading to children and participated in interactive literacy activities. Outdoor reading stations were set-up and books were distributed throughout the day. The outdoor reading stations provided a unique setting and incorporated props to immerse children in the theme of each story. “Our goal is not only to make reading fun but for the children to experience reading in a different environment,” said Edith Herrera, a teacher at Pete Duarte Head Start.
Research shows that activities such as this help promote an early appreciation of reading as a fun and beneficial part of everyday life that can be enjoyed everywhere. Parents also were invited to participate in the event. “It’s good to see parents coming out and supporting this,” said Jessica Flores, parent classroom volunteer and member of Head Start’s Parent Policy council. RIF books will be distributed throughout the year.