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FERSTbookgoal2017

Pickens Ferst Foundation announces 2017 goal: 100,000th book by end of 2017

By Sue Appleton, Pickens FERST Chair

Pickens Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, a 501(c)3 organization, announces their 2017 goal to mail their 100,000th book to a Pickens County child under the age of 5. At the end of 2016, Pickens FERST had mailed out 87,531 total books since 2009. By the end of 2017, this Pickens County early childhood literacy group will reach a major milestone of 100,000 books being mailed throughout the county.

In May of 2009, the first two free age-appropriate books were mailed to Pickens County children under the age of five by Pickens Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. The Rotary Club of Jasper initiative started this early literacy program that has since grown with volunteers and registrations. Today, Pickens Ferst has 15 volunteers from across the county and mails out over 1 ,000 brand new books with literacy support materials each month to Pickens County children. Over 2500 children have been on the FERST program or are currently on the program over the past 8 years.

The recipe for early school success is simple: start school with strong literacy skills. Ferst Foundation's recipe for encouraging early literacy development is even simpler. Ensure that children have age-appropriate books in their home and provide parents with supportive material that reinforces the importance of early learning and encourages them to read from birth and read frequently with their children.

There is absolutely no cost to the parent/guardian. Each registered child will receive a new book and newsletter every month until their 5th birthday! These books are designed to become the child's own personal home library. Registered children will receive quality books that make up the Read to Me Library. A team of specialist, made up of education; and child development experts, academicians and early childhood literacy specialist, carefully select the books for this early learning home library.

The local Pickens FERST Foundation for Childhood Literacy is an all-volunteer group made up of individuals who are passionate about increasing early childhood literacy in our community and therefore, have more children ready to learn and succeed as they enter kindergarten. With the help of many partners in our caring community, we are doing so! All money raised here; stays here to fund this program which has an actual cost of $36.00 per child per year.

Because of the addition of sixty plus children to the program as of January 1st, our finances are running low. These sixty children added $2,160.00 to our annual costs and we currently do not have the funding to cover them. We need the community's support to keep this program running throughout the year so all the registered children will receive their books in 2017 as we reach our 100,000th book in 2017.

Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy is a 4-star charity on Charity Navigator. The local organization can be reached at Pickens FERST, PO Box 2062, Jasper GA 30143 or call 706-692-9755. Information can be found and on-line donations can be made at www.ferstfoundation.org by designating Pickens County. To learn more about the local Pickens Ferst group "like" us on Facebook: Pickens Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy

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