Give the Gift of Literacy this Holiday Season!

Barnes & Noble® in Holmdel Collecting books for Reading Buddies
Local School Students to Receive the Gift of Literacy

Give the Gift of Literacy this Holiday Season!LONG BRANCH, NJ, October 21, 2013 – Family & Children’s Service (FCS), Monmouth County’s oldest nonprofit social service agency serving the vulnerable through education, intervention, care and counseling, is encouraging everyone to give the gift of literacy this holiday season by donating to the Holiday Book Drive at the Barnes & Noble book store in Holmdel. Starting November first, shoppers to the Holmdel store can purchase a new age-appropriate children’s book to donate to FCS to distribute to local school children served by the agency’s Reading Buddies program.

“We are thrilled that employees of the Barnes & Noble book store in Holmdel selected our agency as the beneficiary of their annual Holiday Book Drive,” says Samantha White, FCS Manager of Volunteer Services. “It’s especially significant given that FCS had to discontinue our free book giveaway to Reading Buddies students in 2012 due to funding cuts. This contribution will not only help us restore the program, but hopefully, expand it.”

bnIn addition to the Holiday Book Drive, Barnes & Noble is also partnering with the agency to offer a special Book Fair on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd. On that day, customers who shop online or at any Barnes and Noble bookstore location are invited to present a special code and a portion of the proceeds from that day will benefit FCS. The code is available on the agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth.org. Download the flyer & code here: 2013_HOLIDAY_Bookfair_Flyer_with_Vouchers

FCS’s Reading Buddies program, now in its 16th year, is the only in-school reading program of its kind in Monmouth County. The program pairs older volunteer readers with beginner readers in small group settings in the classroom. Currently operating in 16 public elementary schools in underserved communities, Reading Buddies enriched the learning experiences of more than 1600 students last year from kindergarten through second grade.

White says research shows students who do not read proficiently by the third grade have a greater chance of falling behind in subsequent years, raising their chances of not completing high school or going on to higher education. Furthermore, the amount of independent reading students do significantly influences their level of reading performance.

“One way to encourage independent reading is to make books available to students at home,” White added. “Our book giveaway is a useful tool to help level the playing field for students who could not otherwise afford their own books. We’re thankful for the opportunity to restore this important service.”

To find out more about Reading Buddies, or how you can volunteer to be a Reading Buddy, call 732-222-9111 extension 153 or email at lschlosser@fcsmonmouth.org.