Media Release
Contact:  Michelle Maddox
Community Action Team Leader
P.O. Box 2, Hilliard, Fl. 32046

September 20, 2016 2:00 p.m.

ferst-foundationNassau Ferst Foundation is celebrating its 100th registration of a preschool child in partnership with Early Learning Coalition and Episcopal Children’s Services (Head Start).  The goal is to get books into the hands of over 200 children under five in their School Readiness program in Nassau County to ensure  each of these children enters school ready to learn, achieve his/her potential in school, and becomes a successful member of a competitive workforce.

“This is an excellent beginning toward enrolling all 3600 children under four years of age residing in our county.  We are thrilled to add ELC/Episcopal participants to our growing partnerships”, said Michelle Maddox, local Team Leader. Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy launched its expansion program in Nassau County in February to provide books and family literacy support materials for preschool children in Nassau County.

The books are mailed monthly free of charge to each registered child with an added monthly parent newsletter which contains specific reading guides, child activity pages and news of local literacy rich opportunities such as the child’s “Ferst” library card.  Research shows that parents are 4 times more likely to read with their child daily if given free books which is critical to ensuring that children enter school prepared to learn.

Recent FSA testing data released for Nassau County showed, of the 810 third graders who took the FSA, 31% scored below Level 3 ( lowest passing score).  Students in Nassau County who score Level 1 in 3rd grade will likely score Level 1 in high school and are four times more likely to become a drop out.

61% of low income families don’t have a single book in the home suitable for a preschool child.  Nassau Ferst Foundation works to break this trend by providing a language rich home environment to every child before they enter school.  Additional children in Nassau County are currently being registered through partnerships with the Nassau County Public Libraries and the local elementary schools where CAT members have enrolled younger siblings at fall open houses.

At only $36/child per year, this investment by private donations, corporate partnerships and grants is having a huge impact. We invite other community groups to partner with us to ensure every child enters school ready to learn.  If every business in Nassau County sponsored one child each year, we could close the learning gap within five years.  To learn more about Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy and the importance of its early literacy programs: To learn how to partner with us, or donate, contact us at  And follow us on our Facebook page: Https://

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