Literacy Buddies is one of the programs individual members are encouraged to support and many do.  The new school year is beginning and Susan O'Carroll, the Literacy Buddy program coordinator at the Early Learning Coalition has sent reminder letters asking "Buddies" to reaffirm their support for the coming year.  Specifically, Buddies  are asked to receive a book request from a pre-schooler, buy a book in keeping with the child's request, write a note to the child, put everything in an envelope addressed to the child and turn it into our Club's program chair, Matt Anderson.  The book arrives at the pre-school addressed to the child.  It is opened with the class and over the next week or so each book is read to the children and given to the child to take home.  It's theirs to keep.  Paula and I have sponsored two buddies each school year for the past several years.  It never gets old.
 
This past summer, Susan O'Carroll announced the Literacy Buddy summer program and asked us to continue our sponsorship.  It was an easy decision - "YES."  Our summer program experience was pretty much like our previous involvement so I'd like to share it with you should you be interested in becoming a Buddy.
 
We received an envelope in the mail with a request from preschooler Alisa for a book about princesses.  Vuitton  asked for a book about watermelon.  We checked on line to see what age appropriate books were available.  Princesses were easy - they're everywhere!  Watermelon books however proved to be a challenge - a challenge easily met by the lady at Barnes & Noble who supports the children's reading section.  Books for pre-school children are very affordable, usually under $10.  After writing letters to Alisa and Vuitton ("we found a book we think you will like about a ....") we got the books off to Susan at Literacy Buddies.  A few weeks later we received thank you letters from the children.  Alisa's letter is here at the right.
 
Paula and I find there is a special reward for putting books into the hands of children, especially those who may not have books at home.  The literacy Buddy program makes this possible.  We encourage you to email Susan O'Carroll  (socarroll@earlylearningcoalitionsarasota.org) and become a Mighty Literacy Buddy for the coming school year.  There is still time to excite a child with a book.
 
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