WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 community has been pulling together since last year collecting books and building bookcase to help improve literacy for the younger generation. Today, all the hard work paid off. The first annual Wynne Bookcase Project has been a huge success. There were tons of smiling faces this afternoon as children received their brand new books.
For the past three weeks, volunteers have been working diligently building brand new, homemade bookcases. It is all part of a three step literacy program that jump started lasted September. "We realize that a lot of children may not have books in their home . They may not have a parent available to read to them," says Sherry Breckenridge, who is organizing the event. She says statistics show four out of ten high school students drop out because of literacy. The project hopes to change that.
The books will go to low income families with four year olds entering public kindergarten next year. "Anything we do language wise in the home when are children are small is going to benefit their education later in life," says Breckenridge.
Sunday afternoon eighty-nine bookcases were passed out to family equipped with a variety of different books. The kids were definitely excited, and there was plenty of smiling face as the children walked on stage to receive their brand new treasures.
"Whenever we found out he was getting one it was just like a really good feeling," says Amanda Drewery. Her son Jayson received one of the bookcases and he immediately started looking through all the books. "I'm real grateful to the people who took the time to put this together of the kids," and she says what makes the bookcases extra special, "I didn't realize they would be personalized with their names that just makes it more real."
Breckenridge just hopes it's something they can treasure the rest of their lives, "My grandmother gave me a love of reading probably 40 years ago and I still have my entire book collection that I had as a child and hopefully that's what will give these children today."
Next year Breckenridge hopes to incorporate parent workshops and work on literacy skills to really benefit that the families.