BY DR. SHARON JACKSON, Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG – The St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section (SPMS) of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), community partners, and private donors celebrated literacy by collecting and distributing more than 450 new books to local preschools in south St. Pete last month.
Early childhood professionals have long recognized the importance of language and literacy in preparing children for school success. Learning to read and write is an ongoing process and doesn’t suddenly begin in kindergarten.
It’s never too early for parents/guardians to support literacy at home by reading with their children. Reading to the child or the child reading to the parent/guardian is an excellent strategy to stimulate imagination and understanding of the world. It also helps with the development of language and prepares them to understand the written word.
The project’s goal was to collect at least 350 books to encourage and support early childhood literacy to foster a community of lifelong readers. Project leader Dr. Sharon Jackson, along with her team (Althea Hudson, Deidra Downing-Johnson, Lynn Harrell Johnson, DeWana McCathy, Jennifer Richardson, Jenesis Richardson and Valerie Williams) and the SPMS Black Pearls Youth Group, worked together to collect, sort and package the books for six early child development centers.
The young scholars receiving the new book donations attend Kidz World (Arthurene Williams, owner & CEO), R’Club/Happy Workers (Bridget Anderson, director), Starling Daycare ( Jennifer Howard-Black, director), Infinite Potential (Twanna Monroe, director), Guiding Inspirations for Tomorrow (Monica Pittman, owner & director) and Imagination Station (Jackie Lang, director).
SPMS celebrates literacy through reading, and in the words of our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, we too believe, “The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.”
- Cultured Books
- Local author Davon Miller
- Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
- Association for the Study of African American Life and History
- Pinellas County National Organization for Women
- Community Tech House
- Positive Impact Church
- Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation
- And numerous private supporters