In honor of its 10th anniversary of providing books to children in need, K is for Kids is doing what it does best – collecting donated books to distribute to children this holiday season.
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Between now through December 31, 2017, community members have two ways to make a book donation that is sure to bring a smile to the face of a local child.
The non-profit organization is hosting a Family & Friends Book Drive. The efforts are being driven by student members of the K is for Kids Club at Gulf Coast High School.
Residents are encouraged to bring new or like new books for children ranging in age from toddler to teen to its drop off location at SmartStop Self Storage, located at 7755 Preserve Lane in Naples.
Residents may drop off new or like new books during business hours to the office of SmartStop Self Storage in north Naples. Books are needed for children of all ages, form toddlers to teens.
Individuals can also assist K is for Kids by taking part in Barnes & Noble’s 10th Annual Holiday Book Drive benefiting the foundation at Waterside Shops. Simply stop by the bookstore and select a book to purchase at the checkout register. All books will be distributed by K is for Kids to children in need.
Patrons at Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples may select and purchase a book for a child in need this holiday season at the checkout counter or go upstairs to the children’s department to select one of their fave books. K is for Kids will distribute the books to Collier County children in need of all ages, from toddlers to teens.
The Naples-based organization promotes literacy by providing books to children, which are distributed through schools across Collier County, as well as other non-profits serving children in need. K is for Kids also encourages student leadership, allowing Collier County high school students the chance to organize, plan and implement events throughout the year in exchange for community service hours and real-world experience.
President-Elect Aditii Makwana of K is for Kids Club (O2) at Gulf Coast High School in Naples mentors student leaders Elle, Melina, and Alexa in business communications.
“We are always grateful for the generosity Collier County residents show us during our annual holiday book drive,” said Karen Clawson, founder and executive director of K is for Kids. “As we celebrate our 10th year, we hope our community will continue to help us fulfill our mission and ensure that every child has a book to read this holiday season and throughout their winter break.”
The foundation is off to a great start and has already invited a dozen educators from schools across Collier County to come select new books to give to their top readers for the holiday season.
Gulf Coast High students Elle, Alexa and Melina volunteered after school to help Jill Seitz from Avalon Elementary School select Holiday Book Awards for children at her school. 98.87% of children at Avalon are enrolled in a lunch assistance program. Many thanks to the patrons and staff at Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples for donating all the beautiful books!
Debby Boggs from Golden Gate Middle School shows off some of the books being given to top readers at Golden Gate Middle School where 92% of the kids are on lunch assistance. There is a huge need for books for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens! Many thanks to the patrons and staff at Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples for donating so many beautiful new books for children in need this holiday season!
Pete Cade of Highlands Elementary in Immokalee shops for books on the weekend to award to his reader leaders. The kids will be thrilled to read and enjoy their new books over their winter break. 95% of students at Highlands are on lunch assistance. Many thanks to the patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops for donating the beautiful books for children in need.
Megan Barr of Village Oaks Elementary School in Immokalee shows two of her personal fave books being given to students. Over 97% of the children at the school are on lunch assistance. Thank you to the patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples for donating so many beautiful books for children in need this holiday season!
Miffy Ruggiero of Lely Elementary School knows just how much children love to read and how happy they will be receiving a Holiday Book Award from K is for Kids. Almost 80% of Lely’s students are on lunch assistance. Many thanks to the patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops for making magic happen for so many children in need this holiday season!
Alma McDermott of Lake Trafford Elementary School in Immokalee was thrilled to be able to select so many books for the children of her school. A warm “thank you” goes to Gulf Coast High School junior students Melina and Alexa for spending their Friday afternoon helping Alma! 97.74% of the children at LTES are on lunch assistance – the majority of Immokalee students’ parents are migrant farmworkers. Many thanks go to the patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples for donating so many amazing books for children in need this holiday season!
Tiffany Haberkern Weeks of Golden Terrace Elementary School – Intermediate (grades 3-5) inspired the creation of K is for Kids Foundation’s Rising Readers program in 2011. Six years later, the end-of-year Top (Rising) Readers Book Awards is K is for Kids’ most popular readers program amongst teachers, principals, parents, and especially, the young honorees! (Students in 31 schools of Collier County Public School District were honored in Spring 2017.) This year, thanks to impassioned patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples, K is for Kids Holiday Book Awards for children in need has also expanded from five schools and nonprofits in 2016 to over 18 this holiday season!
Joyce Cordell of Golden Terrace Elementary School – Primary in Golden Gate City shows some of the books she and her assistant Deidre selected for children. Nearly 93% of GTES students are on lunch assistance. Joyce was key to the expansion of K is for Kids’ Holiday Book Awards last year. Children in five schools and nonprofits in 2016 received new books for the holiday season while this year, children in more than 18 schools and nonprofits will benefit. Many thanks go to Jessica Olson, Dora and patrons and staff of Barnes & Noble at the Waterside Shops in Naples for helping ensure books are placed into the hands of children who need them most this holiday season.
Clawson added that 2018 will be a pivotal year for K is for Kids, and a time to reassess how the organization can best fulfill its mission in the future.
Over the years, K is for Kids has enjoyed enormous community support. In addition to the Holiday Book Drive, residents and businesses have donated thousands of books through the Bring a Book, Bring a Friend Fun’raisers each February and student-organized “From the Heart” Teen Fashion Show. The organization also sponsors Rising Reader and Top Reader Book Award programs through more than 30 area schools to help recognize their student readers’ achievements and build personal libraries at home.
Thanks to community donations and the hard work of student volunteers, K is for Kids has donated in excess of $55,000 worth of books to students during the 2016-2017 school year. This holiday season the foundation’s goal is to place 3,000 books into the hands of children who need them most.