Claude Moore Charitable Foundation Awards Grant for Early Literacy
Fairfax Library Foundation Receives $15K from Claude Moore Charitable Foundation to Support Early Literacy in Fairfax County, with New Outreach to Children from Homeless or Displaced Families
Fairfax, VA – Fairfax Library Foundation is honored to receive a grant award of $15,000 from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation to support our Ready to Read Early Literacy Outreach program. A stated goal of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation is to “Help the talented and underprivileged (culturally and economically) in our society to maximize their opportunity for educational advancement through literacy and advanced education.” This aligns with the mission of the Ready to Read program: to ensure every child in Fairfax County is prepared to read by the time of entry into elementary school. “We are grateful to the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation for recognizing the value of this program, and offering this generous support as we expand the program with a new initiative serving children in homeless shelters,” said Abigail Fine, Director of Development for Fairfax Library Foundation.
The Ready to Read program, operated by Fairfax County Public Library’s Early Literacy Program and funded by Fairfax Library Foundation, currently hosts monthly storytimes at 72 Head Start programs, 41 child care centers, and 11 family child care homes, targeting the children who are unable to or do not visit the library branches and may not have books at home. At each storytime, trained educators engage the children with early literacy best practices, model appropriate early literacy techniques to child care providers, promote awareness of the free public library resources available to all, and give a picture book to each child. In the year completed on June 30, 2017, Ready to Read distributed 32,383 picture books to children to take home and keep, often representing the only books in the home.
This year we plan to expand the program reach by providing library bags to children in homeless shelters. Renee Edwards, Early Literacy Services Outreach Manager, said: “To show the library’s commitment to its current mission—educating, enriching and empowering our diverse community—the Early Literacy Services program will provide library bags to children age birth to five from homeless or displaced families in Fairfax County. The bags will contain a library card application and information about the library, free books, and other reading materials. These bags may encourage recreational reading and using the library for its free resources and programs.” According to Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, there were 293 children age five and younger in family homeless shelters in Fairfax County. Based on this number, we will create 300 library bags for families who seek shelter at one of the four family emergency shelters. The Fairfax County Public Schools’ Homeless Liaison’s Office will be a partner for this initiative.
For more information about the Ready to Read program and other Early Literacy initiatives supported by Fairfax Library Foundation, please contact us at 703-324-8300 or info@FairfaxLibraryFoundation.org.
About Fairfax Library Foundation
Fairfax Library Foundation is a nonprofit corporation committed to providing supplementary support to the Fairfax County Public Library. The Foundation, while reinforcing the need for continued and increased public support for the Library, serves as a catalyst for attracting private funding from individuals, businesses, organizations and foundations to enhance library services for our community. www.FairfaxLibraryFoundation.org
About the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation is an organization recognized for instigating programs and partnerships aimed at increasing academic competence and encouraging leadership abilities, with an emphasis on the underprivileged. Its mission is to enhance educational opportunities, including higher education, for young people in the Commonwealth of Virginia and elsewhere. www.ClaudeMooreFoundation.org