We are excited to announce that our Head Start program has been chosen to receive a matching grant to participate in the Reading is Fundamental program at each of our centers. Funding will be provided through RIF’s Books for Ownership program, which has brought over 400 million books to 40 million children over the past 50 years. The RIF program is designed to foster a love of reading and engage children, parents, educators, and volunteers to ensure success.

RIF activities will take place at each Head Start and Early Head Start facility within our 12 county service area. Events will focus around selected book titles and authors and include age-appropriate activities. An additional component of RIF activities is to allow children to choose the books they take ownership of, as it has been found that children are much more likely to read books that they choose.

Having books at home plays a big role in a child’s language and reading development. According to information gathered by the Ferst Foundation, “the only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home.” Something as simple as giving a child a book improves their chances of being successful in school. Learn more about reading and child development by visiting https://www.ferstfoundation.org/resources/fifty- top-literacy-statistics.

We will be seeking support from our community partners to meet the matching requirements of the RIF grant. We are appreciative of the support already provided in Pierce County by the FEYS Corporation and in Ware County by the Waycross Middle School Student Council. Organizations or individuals interested in supporting the RIF program are asked to contact Carol Clarke at cclarke@concertedservices.org or 912-338-5239.

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