Local School Students to Receive the Gift of Literacy

Barnes&Noble® in Holmdel to collect books for FCS’s Reading Buddies Program

Family & Children’s Service (FCS), Monmouth County’s oldest nonprofit social service agency serving the vulnerable through education, intervention, care and counseling, is encouraging everyone to give the gift of literacy this holiday season by donating to the Holiday Book Drive at  the Barnes & Noble book store in Holmdel. Starting November first, shoppers to the Holmdel store can purchase a new age-appropriate children’s book to donate to FCS to distribute to local school children served by the agency’s Reading Buddies program.

“We are thrilled that employees of the Barnes & Noble book store in Holmdel selected our agency as the beneficiary of their annual Holiday Book Drive,” says Samantha White, FCS Manager of Volunteer Services. “It’s especially significant given that FCS had to discontinue our free book giveaway to Reading Buddies students in 2012 due to funding cuts. This contribution will not only help us restore the program, but hopefully, expand it.”

In addition to the Holiday Book Drive, Barnes & Noble is also partnering with the agency to offer a special Book Fair on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd.  On that day, customers who shop online or at any Barnes and Noble bookstore location are invited to present a special code and a portion of the proceeds from that day will benefit FCS. The code is available on the
agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth.org

FCS’s Reading Buddies program, now in its 16th year, is the only in-school reading program of its kind in Monmouth County. The program pairs older volunteer readers with beginner readers in small group settings in the classroom. Currently operating in 16 public elementary schools in underserved communities, Reading Buddies enriched the learning experiences of more than 1600 students last year from kindergarten through second grade.

White says research shows students who do not read proficiently by the third grade have a greater chance of falling behind in subsequent years, raising their chances of not completing high school or going on to higher education. Furthermore, the amount of independent reading students do significantly influences their level of reading performance.

“One way to encourage independent reading is to make books available to students at home,” White added. “Our book giveaway is a useful tool to help level the playing field for students who could not otherwise afford their own books. We’re thankful for the opportunity to restore this important service.”

To find out more about Reading Buddies or how you can volunteer call 732-222-9111 extension 153 or email at lschlosser@fcsmonmouth.org.

About Family & Children’s Service
For more than 100 years, Family & Children’s Service (FCS) has served Monmouth County as a trusted and essential resource for individuals and families, helping countless people learn, grow, feel, age and live better. Providing services and solutions through a wide variety of programs and volunteer efforts, FCS meets the diverse needs of area residents at all
stages of their lives. While every FCS program is unique, each brings hope, compassion and peace of mind to someone in need. FCS is the oldest non-profit organization in Monmouth County, and this longevity is a testament to its ability to address the needs of a changing society with integrity and compassion.  The mission of Family & Children’s Service is to serve people at vulnerable times in their lives through education, intervention, care and counseling.  Learn more about us online at: www.fcsmonmouth.org, www.facebook.com/fcsmonmouth, www.facebook.com/thethriftboutique, www.twitter.com/fcsmonmouth