Is Your Child Enrolled in This Awesome Free Program?

posted Jan 23, 2017, 9:31 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS

January 20, 2017 -- Have you heard of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?  If you have children ages birth to 5 years, it is something you should look into!  When enrolled, your child receives a free, age appropriate book every month in the mail until the age of 5!  Why is this so amazing? Early access to books has been proven to build early literacy skills in even young babies and toddlers, building a foundation for learning in the future. This program is committed to the idea that all babies and children should have access to books, regardless of income.

Read the rest of this story at Macaroni Kid-North Charleston.

A Nourishing Rain of Books for Charleston County

posted Jan 9, 2017, 9:50 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS

January 9, 2017 -- A recent article about urban “book deserts” in the New York Daily News highlighted a universal challenge for low-income families with young children:  limited access to books.

The article focused on urban areas where concentrations of poverty and changes in technology have led to the closure of book stores, but in Charleston, some of our driest book deserts are rural areas, where families may live miles and miles from the closest book store or library.

According to authors Naomi Moland and Susan Neuman, “Book deserts are particularly detrimental for young children. Babies and toddlers (who do not yet have access to books in schools) need to be surrounded by books to develop preliteracy skills. When very young children are exposed to books and reading, they develop vocabulary and stretch their brains. When they don’t, they enter pre-K or kindergarten behind their peers, opening racial and class disparities that only grow over time.”

Begin with Books (BWB) has unleashed a virtual tsunami of books into Charleston County’s book deserts....  Read the rest of the article at Charleston Currents.

Thanks to Andie Weathers, Enrollment Opens on Folly Beach

posted Dec 2, 2016, 4:42 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS   [ updated Dec 2, 2016, 4:44 AM ]

December 1, 2016 --
For the last two years, Folly Beach resident Andie Weathers has been working on bringing BEGIN WITH BOOKS  (BWB) to Folly Beach.  The program is the Charleston affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, the country music star's free books-by-mail program for babies and toddlers....

Last month, Weathers was proud to announce that Folly Beach is now fully funded to be a part of BWB, meaning that parents can sign up their preschoolers from newborn to about age 4 1/2 to receive a free book in the mail each month until the child turns five years old....

"This issue is important to me because of personal reasons," says Weathers. "I raised my three daughters here on the island. This would have been a wonderful program for them."..."Parents are busy," she says.  "Because a parent can afford to buy a child a book each month, doesn't mean it actually happens."  Educators and child-development specialists select the age-appropriate book each month. 

"I have seen the excitement when my grandson receives his book in the mailbox, addressed to him, on Johns Island. He loves his books and always asks his mom to read to him. These books are prized and preferred over purchased books. This sense of pride and ownership is important in instilling a sense of value of books and reading."

This article was published in the December 2016 issue of the Folly Current.

Charleston Police Deliver for BWB

posted Dec 2, 2016, 4:29 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS   [ updated Dec 2, 2016, 4:33 AM ]
November 25, 2016 — In July, Henry moved her family from an upstairs apartment to the one directly downstairs. Something went wrong with her change of address, and the books stopped coming in the mail.

They stopped coming, that is, until Officer Antwan Carter of the Charleston Police Department knocked on her door one day, books in hand. He knew the neighborhood, and he'd asked around about Henry's family.

Carter wasn't the only officer who hand-delivered books this year. In the spring, as Charleston police officers sat in community listening sessions meant to build public trust as part of the Illumination Project....  Read the rest of the article at the Post and Courier.

BEGIN WITH BOOKS: Begin with books

posted Jun 20, 2016, 3:48 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS

June 19, 2016 -- The June 12 article "Charleston County School District slashes literacy program" highlights the need for community focus on early preparation for school.  The demand for literacy remediation at the CCSD is driven by a lack of readiness among its entering students.  According to Superintendent Postlewait, only 12 percent of black four year olds and only 39% of white four year olds meet fundamental literacy and numeracy benchmarks when they enter CCSD pre-K programs.  There is a solution that has been proven to work:  Consistent reading aloud to children from birth.....

Read the full letter at the Post and Courier

Community Buzz: BWB "Little Library" Donation

posted Jun 2, 2016, 1:00 PM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS

Starting Early Newsletter, Spring 2016 -- Exposing children to books from birth and fostering a love for reading at a young age is a proven catalyst for long term school success.  Our friends at BEGIN WITH BOOKS, who offer free books by mail to homes with babies and toddlers, stopped by one of our affiliated centers this week with a surprise! The teachers at Nia Infant & Toddler Child Development Center were thrilled to receive a BWB "little library" with new age-appropriate books to use in their classrooms. Thank you for the generous donation and all that you do for our children!

A Foundation for Literacy in 15 Minutes a Day

posted May 18, 2016, 1:02 PM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS

May 18, 2016 -- Young children have an amazing capacity for learning. By reading aloud for as little as 15 minutes per day, parents can give their children the best advantage of all: a foundation for literacy. Kiawah Cares and BWB want to help make this a reality for all Sea Island children....Kiawah Giving Month is largely focused on funding programs that will help eliminate the 30 million word gap between higher- and lower-income children. BWB fills an important niche, reaching children before they become students. Read the rest of the article at this link.

Kiawah Cares and BWB - Partners for Literacy

posted Mar 28, 2016, 2:23 PM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS   [ updated Mar 28, 2016, 2:24 PM ]

March 2016 -- Kiawah Cares featured BWB in its "Engage!" newsletter with the following article:

"Kiawah Cares and Kiawah Best Friends Fund are joint sponsors of the month for BEGIN WITH BOOKS (BWB).  In March, BWB shipped 2,736 books to children in Charleston County, including 823 infants and toddlers on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. That is a lot of Lowcountry children who will start out with a pre-literacy foundation for learning.

In addition to the amazing work they do for childhood literacy, BWB uses their niche to create a unique benefit for sponsors: each book sent in March told recipient families that Kiawah cares. Thanks, BWB!"

Want to boost student literacy? "Begin With Books"

posted Mar 21, 2016, 7:55 AM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS   [ updated Mar 21, 2016, 7:56 AM ]

March 21, 2016 -- Nancy Muller, director and associate dean of the Lowcountry Graduate Center, connects the dots between early literacy, education, and career success in this powerful letter to the editor of the Post and Courier:  "Early-school readiness is essential to the building blocks of learning for attaining eventual goals in higher education, global competitiveness, career success, and eventually eliminating poverty....To adequately address preschool "readiness" we must support K-12 teachers in literacy education such as The Citadel offers.  We must encourage parental involvement and community collaboration.  But we must also support efforts, first and foremost, such as those orchestrated by "Begin With Books."" -- Photo by Grace Beahm/staff, Post and CourierRead the complete article at the Post and Courier.

Low Country Laundry & Dry Cleaners Supports BWB

posted Mar 1, 2016, 12:56 PM by BEGIN WITH BOOKS   [ updated Mar 1, 2016, 1:06 PM ]

March 1, 2016 -- Low Country Laundry & Dry Cleaners has chosen BEGIN WITH BOOKS as its featured nonprofit for the month of March.  This locally owned and operated business will share a portion of its profits this month to support BWB's book deliveries.  When you take your cleaning to Low Country Laundry & Dry Cleaners, please let them know that you appreciate their support of BEGIN WITH BOOKS.  Check out the great services at Low Country Laundry & Dry Cleaners!

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