Ferst Readers of Nassau County
Press Release
January 24, 2022

A Tanzanian Proverb says, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot!” After a one-year hiatus, Dr. Kathy Burns and Nassau County Elementary Schools, are partnering again with Ferst Readers of Nassau County for our 3rd Annual Coin Drive! In honor of Florida’s Literacy Week ,January 24th – 28th, all Nassau County Elementary Schools will be collecting coins which will help Ferst Readers of Nassau County continue to mail books to 900 Nassau County children, birth to five years old, monthly. The class which collects the most coins at each school will receive an ice cream party!
Why is this program needed in Nassau County? Yes, we are an “A” District. Yes, our teachers do a PHENOMENAL JOB of preparing students each year for state testing. HOWEVER, what many do not see are the number of children entering kindergarten without the school readiness skills and language skills which will enable them to learn to read. Teachers and staff are having to tutor MANY children before/after school to help them “catch up” because so many are lacking the basic reading readiness skills. Ferst Readers of Nassau County has been working to help schools by providing books and literacy resources monthly so children are entering school with those pre-reading skills and the best part – a love of reading!

“We really enjoy the books we receive from the Ferst Readers program. Even my oldest child gets excited when his younger sister receives the books and he excitedly reads to her, too. We appreciate the books and the time and effort that goes into the program so that we, and other families, can enjoy more reading books. Thank you.” – Katelyn, a Nassau County participant’s parent from the 2020 Ferst Readers Parent Survey

For the past six years, over 43,000 books have been mailed to almost 1,800 Nassau County children in an effort to give their families the resources to help children become strong readers and provide families a chance to bond through the love of reading at NO COST to the families, but we are only touching a fraction of our birth to five population. There are over 5,000 children, birth to five years old, in Nassau County and only 20% are receiving books through our program – and there is a waiting list of children who want to receive books, but additional funds are needed.

If you have coins you would like to put to great use, you can drop them off at any elementary school office, give them to an elementary child or teacher you know, or contact Ferst Readers of Nassau County at nassauferstfoundation@gmail.com and we can arrange a pick up/drop off with one of our volunteers. If you don’t have coins, but still want to be a part of bringing more books to Nassau County children, you can donate online at ferstreaders.org (select Nassau County) or you can mail a check to Ferst Readers PO Box 2 Hilliard, FL 32046.

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