Twice a month, volunteers from The Literacy Alliance team up at the Coalition to perform puppet shows, read books and make crafts to create fun and educational experiences for the children.

It all began in 2005 when Diane Keyes, President of The Literacy Alliance, and her daughter were searching for meaningful volunteer opportunities in the community. They found out about the Coalition and started a literacy program, reading books and helping the kids with their homework.

“We just wanted to go where we thought we would be helpful. A homeless shelter is an area of transition for them and it can be a traumatic time. So, it’s an opportunity to give the children something positive and provide opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Diane says.

A few years later, Diane and her family made The Literacy Alliance an official nonprofit and expanded the program to low-income daycare centers, the Seminole County Juvenile Detention Center and other local nonprofits.

“I realized that there are people in the world that want to do good things, but they just don’t know where to go or how to do it,” she says.  “I’m grateful that I can bring volunteers who get something out of it and that the kids also get a positive experience.”

The Literacy Alliance combines exciting activities while also ensuring that they have access to more books and vocabulary words that help them succeed in school.

Studies from the Childhood Literacy Foundation report that low-income children are at a higher risk of having literacy problems than their higher income classmates. An average child from a middle to high-income family has 13 books per child while there is just one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods.

“They don’t always get to go to the libraries because the parents are working – sometimes two jobs,” says Diane. “There’s a lot going on in their lives and they don’t always have the leisure or ability to go to a story time at the library or check out books. This is like bringing the library to them.”

Thank you to The Literacy Alliance for providing educational and fun activities for the children at the Coalition! To learn more, visit their website at www.thelitalliance.org.

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