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Published on Jun 21, 2013
In an effort to provide access to self-selected books for low-income students, Scholastic has joined forces with Kiwanis International in a grass roots community partnership to connect local Kiwanis Clubs with schools in need.
Scholastic is working with local Kiwanis clubs nationwide to develop relationships with school principals in an effort to build a Community Reading Oasis in their school. The goal is to provide the school's at-risk students access to books and a safe environment to enjoy reading with their family.
Participating Title 1 schools will have at least 50% of their students on the federal free and reduced lunch program which is a good indicator of the school's socioeconomic environment. Most of the schools that will be served have well over 75% of their students on free lunch and many schools have a percentage of their families that are currently homeless.
The first Scholastic Kiwanis Community Reading Oasis Grand Opening was launched in December in Deerfield Beach, FL at Deerfield Park Elementary School. The grand opening was amazing. It was delightful to see how many teachers, staff members and families were able to attend and support their school during this GRAND EVENT!
Guests were greeted by the school's award-winning marching band, and a THANK YOU display board posted with notes and photos from the students. As the guests arrived in the library, they were able to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair and wait in Grand Style for the dedication and watch a Photo Parade of the evolution of the Reading Oasis, complete with music by Michael Jackson. After the Ribbon Cutting, the unveiling of the room was filled with lots of happy faces in the Reading Oasis.
Between Principal Reid's perseverance, patience and commitment to the Scholastic Kiwanis Community Reading Oasis Initiative and the Kiwanis club arranging for donations of labor, supplies and Reading Certificates the Grand Opening Event was icing on the cake!
The dedicated team and all the Kiwanis volunteers worked from their hearts and souls. The ideas and special touches that came out of this collaboration for the first Kiwanis Community Reading Oasis will be instrumental for future Kiwanis Reading Oasis Rooms. The end result is a beautiful Oasis at Deerfield Park Elementary that will serve as a central hub of family reading engagement, bringing the school, families and the community closer together. Let's Raise Readers!
Kiwanis Clubs interested in making this happen for a school in their area can reach out to Dillon Kalkhurst at 407-869-7760 or email: DKalkhurst@scholastic.com