Summer has come to an end and the kids are back at school, ready for an incredible school year. We were very blessed to have collected over 75 backpacks, all filled with school supplies to benefit local students and families in need. Gearing up into another school year, we are focusing on how our Church can support students’ literacy needs. We will do a book drive all year, collecting gently used or new books for children of all ages. Our goal is to get books into every home with children, so they have the ability to read with family at home – helping to raise awareness and tackling literacy problems head first, here in Flagler County.

Studies show that Florida ranks 9th out of all 50 states, with 76.3% of children having some kind of struggle with literacy or reading. It also shows that 1 in 5 children do not have access to books or any kind of reading materials at home that could benefit them and where valuable reading practice could take place. Many parents do not have the financial resources to purchase new books or drive to the library often for their children.

Shot of a young family spending time together and using a digital tablet at home.

Our goal is to collect books for kids of all ages and create a resource in Flagler County that parents can rely on – curated sets of books will be put together and given to local nonprofits like The Grace Food Pantry, The Family Life Center, and Alpha’s Women’s Center and our local schools. These books will be free for families to keep at home, and if they need new books or want more – they just need to call or reach out to arrange that. With community involvement we hope to institute a buddy reading program in the coming months that will serve families who need support in this area.

As we move into our new facility here in Palm Coast, our hope is that we will reach into new areas of our community and create friendships and bonds with families. We have been in Flagler County for decades and know our new Church will be an incredible space for our community to gather, and we can’t wait to see the wonderful partnerships and connections to come.