World Literacy Day has just passed and now more than ever we are focusing on how our Church can support students’ literacy needs. The endless benefits of reading from a young age can’t be fully measured! 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. We are also having our volunteers partner with Reading Pals with the Flagler County School District to help mentor and work with kids in need.

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, so we hope that this resource in our county will be well loved.

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. We are also looking for places to put little book libraries throughout the county, if you think you know of a good location for one, let us know below!

Starting a love for reading at a young age is so important! There are many reasons why, some including better reading and literacy skills, numerous health benefits long term, a stronger use of creativity and imagination, and more. Instilling a love for reading from a young age is crucial, and you can read more about how to inspire a love of reading in your children.

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.