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

WKAR Family Reading Kit, featuring books, learning activities, and gear.
Johnny McGraw
WKAR Family Reading Kit, featuring books, learning activities, and gear.

EAST LANSING, MI; August 25, 2023 – WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University gave away more than 9,000 WKAR Family Reading Kits to families across mid-Michigan through March and April of 2023.

“Providing these reading kits to children and their families is one of the greatest joys of being an educator,” said Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education. “Any time WKAR can provide books to children, I know we are fostering a love of reading and increasing access to home libraries. Partnering with families in their child’s education is a big priority for us.”

Each WKAR Family Reading Kit included two new, highly engaging books, local community resource information, high quality literacy activities from PBS LearningMedia and Scholastic, reading practice games, and lots of WKAR PBS character swag.

WKAR provided kits dedicated to three different developmental age groups, with over 2,500 going out to the birth to age three group, over 4,000 going out to the preschool to kindergarten group, and over 2,000 going out to the first to fourth grader group.

Pizzo and the education team collaborated with the Early Childhood Literacy Coalition, Capital Area Community Services, Ingham Great Start Collaborative, MiRegistry, Capital Area District Libraries, and numerous other organizations to distribute the kits to families.

“Early literacy support is extremely important for every child’s development,” said Pizzo. “The WKAR Family Reading Kits allow us to increase reading proficiency in the youngest learners. The impact is exponential.”

Since the project began in 2021, the demand for the kits has grown tremendously. Families and partner organizations understand the value and continue to share their gratitude for the kits with others. The popularity of the WKAR Family Reading Kits has caused the project to grow from 5,400 kits given away in 2022 to over 9,000 in 2023.

The WKAR Family Reading Kit project was supported in part by a grant from United Way of South Central Michigan. The project will return in the spring of 2024, and you can look for ways to support WKAR Family Reading Kit efforts this fall.

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