"Books for Good" is the name of the project and that was the theme for a presentation at EverBank Field today. Children from Community Connections were on hand along with representatives of Jacksonville area emergency and domestic violence shelters to receive books and cinch bags.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, The GATE Foundation and Pepsi Beverages Company teamed up to promote family literacy for the greater Jacksonville community. As a result of this promotion, more than 1,600 cinch bags each filled with three children's books, provided by Scholastic Books' Literacy Partnership Initiative, were presented to these shelters.
Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars co-owner and Chair/CEO of the Jaguars Foundation, noted "These books, and the cool 'Reading Rocks' bags will be a special possession for these children, who often count few possessions as their own while in shelters. I hope that in some small way it helps the children and young people, as well as their parents, know that they are loved; that there is hope for a better future and that others believe in them."
On hand to receive the books and bags were representatives from the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, Hubbard House, The Betty Griffin House, Quigley House, and Davis Center. Each facility was given a supply of books for children in the shelters this year. Older children will receive a cinch book bag for their books, and the mothers of toddlers and infants will receive a canvas bag for their books as well.
"On behalf of the children and our shelter partners I'm pleased to offer special thanks to Jennifer Stenson and Rick Ford from Pepsi," said Delores Barr Weaver, chair and CEO of the Jaguars Foundation and Jaguars co-owner. "We thank you for being our literacy partner for 10 years; you've helped us distribute more than 430,000 books. Those are all right here in Jacksonville and of course that's a part of the mayor's one million books that we wanted to put into the hands of our local children. And to Scholastic of course, we thank you for your help and your support with all of the books that we've been able to distribute.
"Let's read because we know readers are leaders," Weaver said in closing.