Children First Chosen to Lead Literacy Effort

July 15, 2019

A boy with a blue pail on his head, posing for the camera
A young boy with his head popping out of a jungle gym at a park

Children First has been selected for a matching grant through the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) literacy network for its commitment to lifelong learning. Books for Ownership is RIF’s flagship reading program that enables children to select new, age-appropriate books to take home and is supported by resources for educators, caregivers, and volunteers in order to create a continuous focus on literacy.

Rohn and Susan Schaefer of DG Ace Hardware provided matching funds to encourage a love of literacy among our community’s most at-risk youth. The RIF program improves reading performance, produces improved attitudes, and supports children in learning. Because only 1 in 300 low-income children own a book, Books for Ownership relies on a simple yet fundamental truth: if you allow children choice and access, they will become more engaged readers and learners. With summer vacation looming for many families in Sarasota County, children across our community face the dangers of up to two months’ learning loss, with low-income children facing the highest risk. Thanks to the generosity of the Schaefers and the Books for Ownership program, our children are able to experience a love for lifelong learning and will be able to join their peers in the fall, on-pace and ready for success!