Books Are Wings Receives Grants to Support Literacy Efforts in Central Falls

Pawtucket, RI (June 22, 2018) – Books Are Wings is pleased to announce it has received grants from Collette, The June Rockwell Levy Foundation and the 2018 Rhode Island Foundation Community Grant to support literacy efforts in Central Falls. Grant awards will bring Books Are Wings programming to the Central Falls summer camp program, establish six Little Free Libraries in strategic locations throughout Central Falls and distribute free children’s books to students throughout the school year.

Books Are Wings will partner with the City of Central Falls to provide literacy training for summer camp counselors, three book parties throughout the summer and over 5,000 free children’s books. The Central Falls Parks & Recreation & Community Services Department’s summer camp program is the only free program in the city that provides free breakfast and lunch to any child 18 years old or younger, 7 days per week. Last year it served over 700 meals a day.

The Little Free Libraries, hosted by Books Are Wings will invite anyone to take a book and keep it. The Little Free Libraries will be available to both children and their families anytime, any day, all day long. Grant funds will also support the purchase of bilingual books to be included in the book selection. The Little Free Libraries will be installed this summer.

Free book distributions will continue through Books Are Wings’ Books All Year Program. Books Are Wings will visit Central Falls elementary schools multiple times throughout the school year to distribute free books. By the end of the school year every child will receive up to 6 free books to take home and keep.

According to the 2017 PARCC, only 15% of third graders in Central Falls are meeting grade-level expectations in reading. This is a 2% gain from the previous two years. “The summer months are critical academic times for children. Children’s access to and ownership of books is crucial to maintain the reading skills they acquired during the school year,” states Jocelynn White, Executive Director of Books Are Wings. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Central Falls to address this need and get more books in the hands of children.”

“The city is excited to partner with Books Are Wings,” says Rob Sayre-McCord, Director of Parks & Recreation and Community Services. “Together, the city and Books Are Wings firmly believe that this initiative will highlight the life-long importance of reading for youth in our community and will be a step towards offsetting the literacy issues our community encounters.”

Lynne Kelly, Collette’s Community Relations Manager states, “Collette is proud to support our long time Pawtucket partner Books Are Wings with funds to launch this exciting new program to provide free books to the Central Falls youth with the goal of enhancing literacy outcomes for their students”.

This project has been made possible in part by a Rhode Island Foundation Community Grant, The June Rockwell Levy Foundation and a two year grant from Collette.

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About Books Are Wings Books Are Wings is the only organization in Rhode Island dedicated to putting free books in the hands of children from birth to middle school utilizing community donations of new and gently used books. Last year

BAW collected 85,000 books and redistributed over 65,000 to children in Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket.

About Collette Cares

Collette Cares gives back to children in communities around the world. With a focus on basic needs – namely hunger and education – we have set forth on a mission to equalize the playing field for all children, no matter their circumstance. It is our hope that with helping hands, they can receive the tools to accomplish their dreams. Collette enhances people’s lives through travel; likewise, we aim philanthropically to enhance the lives of those who live in the communities where we live and where we travel. Engaged employees are the heart and soul of our program which is why each year, they give over 4,500 hours of service.

About The June Rockwell Levy Foundation

The June Rockwell Levy Foundation makes grants to Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501 (c)(3) organizations serving the communities of Providence County.

About the 2018 Rhode Island Foundation Community Grant

The Rhode Island Foundation Community Grants program is intended to celebrate Rhode Island by funding community-making projects throughout the state.

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