Before each meeting of the Ladies
Book Club, an envelope is passed around so members can make a donation
to the club's Books for Children
reading fund. Many of our members are retired teachers and know that
reading is fundamental, laying the foundation for a child's success in
school and in life. Donations are strictly voluntary and people can put
in whatever amount they want. Eileen Roberta holds the donations and
provides an update on the total amount donated so far at the beginning
of each month's meeting. At the end of the year, the fund is closed out
and a new fund is started in January.
One of the club's leader's contacts
Jeanne Lively, Sumter County Social Worker for the school district's
Pre-K Program, called
Jump Start to K
(Kindergarten). She attends our February meeting to accept our donation
from the previous year. This year, it was Thursday, February 2nd, with
26 members in attendance. Eileen presented Jeanne with a check for $655.
Jeanne thanked us all profusely and told us how much the money means.
Their classes are overflowing. Last month they opened two new Pre-K
classrooms, and this month they were opening two more, and they're still
crowded and demand keeps growing. The program is open to 3 — 4 year olds
with delayed development, who need a jump start to be accepted into
Kindergarten. There are some special needs kids, as well.
Reading is vital, and the program attempts to start young and instill
a love of reading in the children, and for parent's to understand the
importance of reading to their children's development, to read to them
and encourage reading at home. In classes for people about to become
parents, they provide materials to help new parents understand the
importance of reading to their children, starting as early as possible
to instill a love of books in them.
As the social worker, she has been called in numerous times to help
families whose homes burned down, left homeless and having lost
everything. She brings them clothing and other supplies to help them
start over, and includes a book for the children so they have something
new and all their own as the family rebuilds their lives. Our donation
also buys books for the children enrolled in the program, and buys a
book that each can take home and keep.
She assured us that our donations are put to good use and are
sincerely appreciated. Thanks, Jeanne, for the update.