5505933-binThe 2016 – 2017 school year begins this week and alongside the children entering the buildings will be the thirty or so 1000X5 volunteers – eager to see what books arrived from schools over the summer.  And just as eager to begin again are the agencies which know the value of getting books into the hands of young children. Over 40 agencies sponsoring over 70 programs distribute books to young children on a monthly basis.   See our partners page for a listing.

Every month, over 1500 children receive a gift wrapped bag of three books when they attend a free program within that agency. The next month they receive another three books. Soon a library is created.

Do these books make a difference?  Letter after letter assures this is so.  Here is one of those letters:

…… A Story from a Strong Start Early Childhood Educator

Dear 1000X5 Volunteers

I wanted to tell you about how grateful the parents and children are when they receive books from 1000 X 5. The children’s faces light up and they smile instantly at the sight ofthe gold, blue and green cellophane bags. The children cannot wait to open the packages and have the books read to them. One mom said her daughter had her read the books first thing when she got home, then when her 7year old brother came home, she got her brother to read her the books again. What you have also impacted at our school is the older siblings are now reading with their younger brothers and sisters and parents who are reading even more to their children.12705179_10153648345666704_2759952634704177437_n

At times I have books left over so I go out after school and find families who have young children; some are registered with Strong Start, some are not. The books have allowed me to make a connection with the young children and by giving them books it has brought in more families to Strong Start.

Today I gave a dad some books for his 2 and 4year old boys and the dad said, “Oh the boys love these books. Thank you.” I left a bag with a kindergarten boy for his 3year old sister and as I was walking by the father, he took the books and motioned towards his heart, tapping his heart and said “thank-you”.

 You and your volunteers fill the hearts and minds of the children. The children love your gifts and you are all making a difference.

Thank You on behalf of the children and parents of our school and StrongStart