The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is proud to help close the literacy gap in the community by donating more than 150 books to the Capital Area Community Action Agency’s Head Start Program.
This service project was part of a nationwide 7,500 Book Challenge to support the 43rd National Assembly of The Links, Incorporated, being held virtually, and in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 29-July 3, 2022.
The Links, Incorporated joined national partners Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF), Scholastic, Georgia-Pacific, and the We Can Do This campaign, to address early childhood literacy through a massive book challenge.
The goal was to donate at least 7,500 new or gently used reading and math books for pre-K-3rd graders to Head Start Centers throughout the United States and comparable sites in the Bahamas and United Kingdom. However, the number of books donated nationwide was over 30,000 books to over 271 Head Start classrooms.
“Each local chapter was asked to donate 26 books to their local Head Start program; but we were pleased to deliver more than 150 books,” said Kimberly Hankerson, President, Tallahassee Chapter of The Links. “Together we’re closing the literacy gap and helping children move forward to master other subjects and grade levels,” Closing the literacy gap at an early age means our youth can achieve greater educational outcomes in the future.
Links chapters throughout the country were also encouraged to host either an in-person reading session for students at a Head Start Center or a virtual reading session. Maura Byrd, Corresponding Secretary for The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, read the following two books during a Zoom event to the students in the agency’s Head Start Program: “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers and “Ten Black Dots” by Donald Crews.
Following the Zoom reading, several members of The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links traveled to the Capital Area Community Action Agency and presented the books to the staff to give to the students.
Later, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the day of the 43rd National Assembly Community Service Project, The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, and other chapters around the country, posted photos about their efforts on social media.
“We are so excited about the books that have been donated to Head Start and we will make sure that the children will have these books in hands to take home to read and share with their families. These are beautiful books that have been written, illustrated and feature people of color,” said Venita Treadwell, Early Childhood Development Manager, Capital Area Community Action Agency.
Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chairman of the Services to Youth Committee spearheaded the effort for The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She said that working with the Head Start Program on this effort will “help stimulate young people to love reading as much as we do. To have the opportunity to participate virtually with the students in the summer program was extremely meaningful.” She appreciation expressed for the strong, effective collaboration between non-profit organizations and The Links to make sure “that we improve the lives of our future leaders.”
As part of their commitment to our partnership and the community service project, BSBF also provided one Links-BSBF co-branded literacy kit to donate to the Head Start agency. Each kit contained storybooks, educational curriculum, and children’s activities as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom.
Established in 1951, The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has the distinction of being the first chapter established in the state of Florida and has made significant contributions to the improvement of life for youth and their families in the Tallahassee and Gadsden communities through its community service and philanthropic efforts.
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