Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Business Volunteers to Kick Off Literacy Initiative

More than 60 employee volunteers from Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) member companies will kick off a literacy initiative on Monday, March 3, 2008 by reading to children enrolled in Head Start, the YMCA and other pre-school programs. The campaign kickoff is planned to coincide with “Read Across America”, a program sponsored by the National Education Association designed to get kids excited about reading. March 3 is also Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s birthday.

The event will mark the beginning of Books in a Bag, an annual campaign sponsored by the BVC. Books in a Bag is a family literacy initiative created by the BVC nine years ago in response to a need identified by Bergen County Head Start, a federally-funded early childhood education program for very low-income families. Because these families are struggling to pay for rent, utilities and food, books are far down on the list of must-have items. Consequently, most children in the program have never owned a book of their own and very few read or are read to at home. To address the problem, employee volunteers at participating companies organize a collection of new children’s books, then deliver bags filled with five books, a bookmark and a reading list to children in Head Start programs throughout the state. In just nine years, more than 38,500 books have been distributed to 7,700 children.

The BVC is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. For further information on membership, call Amanda Missey at 201-489-9454 Ext. 119 or visit

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