In 2012 the Rotary Club of Buffalo committed to a $60,000 grant to Read to Succeed that would be distributed over the course of three years.
Read to Succeed believes all children are born with the tools they need to reach their highest potential and that all parents want the best for their children. With that in mind and the support of the Rotary Club of Buffalo, this innovative non-profit organization focuses on improving early care and education in the 14215 Literacy Zone – supporting literacy-rich, developmentally appropriate environments for hundreds of Buffalo’s most at-risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Their mission is to prepare children from birth to age five for school by providing research-based strategies to their child care providers, Bethel Head Start teachers, and parents. Among their projects is the annual distribution of 6,000 free books to East Side children. Getting a head start on reading is a proven way to end the cycle of poverty, to help children flourish in school, and to open doors of opportunity in every phase of life.
The program mails age appropriate books to children birth through five, every month until the child’s fifth birthday. The focus of the program is to get high quality books in the hands of children who may not otherwise be able to afford or have access to them in their homes. Read to Succeed believes the entire community has a role in improving literacy and student achievement in Buffalo.
For more information about Read to Succeed go to http://www.readtosucceedbuffalo.org/
“Giving books to young readers”
-by Helen Jones, The Buffalo News, January 23, 2012
When little Prince Nubine goes to sleep at night, he takes his brand new copy of “The Little Engine That Could” to bed with him. That’s after going through the colorful pages a few more times, just for fun. Since his mother started reading the book to him, Prince, who will be 2 years old at the end of the month, now recognizes trains and imitates their whistle, she said.
“He likes it,” said Nancy Guilbert. “I read it to him every night.”
The book is just the first of many for Prince, who, with his mom, are among the first to participate in a new program that delivers free books directly into the home for eligible children from birth to 5 years of age. The program gives them ready access to their own home library and a chance to develop literacy skills and a love of reading right from birth.
Launched last month by Read to Succeed Buffalo, with help from the Rotary Club of Buffalo and the Literacy Coalition, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is targeted to children in the 14215 ZIP code area on Buffalo’s East Side.