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WKAR Family Reading Kits distributed to mid-Michigan Organizations and Families

Robin Pizzo

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 14, 2021 -- WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University collaborated with over 75 mid-Michigan organizations to provide 1,788 WKAR Family Reading Kits to families.  
“As an educator, I understand the power of reading and how it unlocks the unlimited potential of children to learn, grow and achieve,” said  Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education.

WKAR provided kits targeted for prek-1st graders and 2nd - 4th graders. Each kit included two new grade level appropriate books, local community resource flyers, PBS LearningMedia literacy activities, Scholastic printable activities, literacy bingo, site word card games and lots of WKAR swag.

The special project was inspired by the difficult decision to cancel the annual Early Literacy Celebration event, hosted by the Early Childhood Literacy Coalition, two years in a row. This annual event offers literacy activities, games, story book characters, community resources and free books to over 300 local families.

“Families are tackling difficult circumstances while striving to ensure their children receive the educational tools needed to succeed,” said Pizzo.

Pizzo and Madeline Shanahan, educational consultant, worked with the Early Childhood Literacy Coalition, including Capital Area District Library, Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program, Ingham Great Start Collaborative and other mid-Michigan libraries, to distribute the kits to families. The initial project goal was to provide 500 reading kits. As requests kept coming in from across mid-Michigan, the project was expanded and ultimately 1,788 kits were provided to families.

“I am thrilled knowing WKAR gave away so many books in three weeks,” said Pizzo. “An educator’s dream come true.” 

The WKAR Family Reading Kit project was supported in part by a gift from Barb Sawyer-Koch. The WKAR Family initiative is supported in part by MSU Federal Credit Union.

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