2008-10-09 / Family

Center For Families Receives A Year's Worth Of Children's Books

As part of Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program

Local children who participate in Family Center programs are getting a year's worth of unexpected presents: a brand new book each month for a year from the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program and its partners First Book and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. This is part of a broader effort to ensure that kids grow up with books, and over the past seven years, Cheerios has donated almost $3 million to support First Book, an award-winning nonprofit that helps get brand new books to children from low-income families.

"As part of their overall financial contribution, Cheerios asked First Book to identify an organization in every state and provide each child involved in their programs with a new book each month for a year," said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. "For some of these children, these may be the first brand new books they have had to take home and call their own. Having their own books not only fosters a joy of reading, but also impacts children's performance in school. Studies have shown that the only measure that correlates significantly with school reading scores is the number of books in the home. Yet appallingly, a recent study indicates that there is just one book or every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. Thanks to Cheerios, we are steadily getting more and more books to children through deserving programs like the Family Center's."

Fulton County Center For Families serves more than 200 children from birth to 15 years old in a variety of childcare and in-home parent education programs.Through the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, FCCF will have the opportunity to select 12 books for each child it serves. The books will be distributed through First Book, and will be shipped to the program free of charge.

"We are thrilled to be able to give the gift of reading to the kids and families we serve," said Elen Ott, executive director of FCCF. "This gift of books literally is a gift that keeps on giving, fostering shared storytelling and read-aloud times at home. And, books can help open up children's futures, not only because they learn to read, but also because they start to appreciate the possibilities of what the world offers."

In addition making an annual contribution to First book, Cheerios has also distributed more than 5 million children's books free inside boxes of Cheerios cereal - adding up to more than 35 million books for kids over the past seven years.

More information about Fulton County Center For Families programs may be obtained by calling 717-485-5038.

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