Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Volunteers Bring the Joy of Reading to Children in Need

Over 1,000 new children’s books were distributed through the Business Volunteer Council’s Books in a Bag program at the Bergen Volunteer Center. Books in a Bag is conducted annually by the Bergen Volunteer Center’s Business Volunteer Council (BVC), a program which engages companies in employee volunteering and workplace giving. 
           
Volunteers from NatureX packed the books into drawstring bags on March 1, which were then distributed to 472 pre-K and kindergarten students at the Quarles School in Englewood on March 2nd, in honor of Read Across America Day. Volunteers from BVC member companies NatureX, Atlantic Stewardship Bank, and Five Star Premier Residences were on hand to read to the students.
           
“According to Project Literacy of Bergen County, more than 150,000 people in Bergen County cannot read beyond the 4th grade level,” states Maureen Cameron, the Volunteer Center’s Chief Philanthropic Officer. “The Business Volunteer Council recognizes that literacy is not just the responsibility of our educational system, but the entire community and is poised to change the statistics. Books in a Bag was created not only to teach our children the value of reading, but to educate parents on the significant impact family reading can have on a child’s development.”
           
Books in a Bag was sponsored by Business Volunteer Council   member companies Konica Minolta, Sharp, Atlantic Stewardship Bank, and NatureX. Jim Eustice of NatureX stated that “everyone one of us who volunteered, no matter in what way, walked away a little happier and with more of a smile than we had when we walked in!” 

Mary Jo Cook of NatureX added “This was a great experience! It was wonderful to be in a school taking part in a reading program for children. They really enjoy being read to and acting out stories.”

The Business Volunteer Council gives businesses a platform to successfully engage employees through volunteer service and workplace giving. The BVC provides customized volunteer projects, including skills-based volunteering and support for corporate social responsibility initiatives. The BVC makes doing good an easy part of doing business by building high-impact employee led-programs that are locally significant and socially relevant. Companies with the right engagement tools and guidance can create incredible social change, while having a fun, memorable team building experience! For more information about the BVC, contact Maureen Cameron at 201-489-9454, ext. 204 or mcameron@bergenvolunteers.org.

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