A $1,250 grant recently received from the Twin Lakes Future Fund, will help the Baxter County Early Literacy Project (BCELP) establish a pop-up outreach event kit. The kit will allow the BCELP to forward their mission of equipping all Baxter County children with the early literacy skills they need to be prepared to start Kindergarten. Area schools and other community partners will be able to use the kit at school or community events in order to engage parents and grandparents of children under age five in early literacy activities with their child and promote reading aloud to their child, the single most important thing they can do to prepare their child to learn to read.
The kit will contain everything needed to set up and operate a booth at an event including a custom canopy, tablecloth, activity supplies, and registration forms. The kit will also include floor mat/s, interactive toys, games, and books for parents to sit and read to their child on the spot.
According to the National Commission on Reading, “The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” Studies show that increased books in the home and increased reading time with children results in improved early literacy skills such as alphabet knowledge, larger vocabulary, and improved phonological awareness and memory.
Jump started by the Baxter County Library, the Baxter County Early Literacy Project was started in 2018 and is a collaborative effort involving the Mountain Home School District, Cotter School District, Norfork School District, area pre-schools, Baxter Regional Medical Center, Schliemann Center for Women’s Health Education, Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, and other community partners.
“What I am most proud of is the collaborative effort by all the members. That is what makes this project successful and allows us to make the biggest impact,” according to Baxter County Library Director Kim Crow Sheaner
The Twin Lakes Future Fund is a way for young professionals to give back to their communities. It’s an opportunity for young people to pool their charitable dollars and collectively identify and support charities and causes they care about.
The Twin Lakes Future Fund was started in 2012 by Twin Lakes Community Foundation. The concept of the Future Fund is to educate a younger audience about philanthropy (giving) and engage young leaders.
For more information on the Twin Lakes Future Fund, visit arcf.org/affiliates/twin-lakes/. For more information on the Baxter County Early Literacy Project, visit baxtercountylibrary.org/services/children-tweens/early-literacy-project.