CARROLLTON, GA – “Sometimes things just all align!” These prophetic words of Carroll County Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy chair Karen Hartley were expressed upon hearing of Midway Church’s generous donation to the non-profit, allowing the foundation to broaden their quest for early learning.
The Ferst Foundation delivers free, age-appropriate books monthly in the mail to children, age birth to 5 years old. In addition, Ferst had recently been challenged to reach out to the many foster children served by the Carroll County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. These children often do not have permanent mailing addresses as they move from one foster family to another. On average, ninety-nine foster children, under the age of four years old, are currently served in the CASA program.
This is why, when Midway Church chose Ferst Foundation to receive a $4,000 grant, the Ferst volunteer leadership knew exactly what they would do with the money. Through a new partnership between Ferst and CASA, and the funding support of Midway, all 99 foster children will now receive a book each month through May, 2018.
As CASA registers each child, the books will be delivered to the CASA office by Ferst volunteers, and CASA volunteers will deliver the books during their regular monthly visits with their appointed charges. As the foster child relocates, they will be able to take the books with them along with their own book bag provided by Ferst.
“CASA is excited to partner with the Ferst Foundation and Midway Church to put books in the hands of our local foster children,” shared CASA director Amanda Camp, “We know that by encouraging reading, it will make a positive impact as they prepare to enter school. For some of these children, it may be the first time they have books to call their own.”
Children who have not already developed some basic literacy practices when they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. Three keys to combatting this are books in the home, encouraging parents and caregivers to read frequently to their children, and building an association of reading with fun and love.
“We hope this will be the first of many such partnerships between organizations with young children who need to receive our program and funders who are willing to help us by sponsoring these children,” stated Hartley, “We are extremely grateful to Midway for providing the seed money to start this partnership with CASA.”
The Carroll Ferst Foundation relies solely upon donations and grants to serve over 3,000 children annually in Carroll County. At a cost of $40 per child for the mailings, the Ferst Foundation continually seeks additional funds to serve the more than 8,000 children who are eligible throughout the community. In order to continue the CASA book partnership on a yearly basis, Ferst will continue to reach out to local civic and faith organizations for support.
For more information or to make a donation to Carroll County Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, visit their website.