Reading Success by 4th Grade has partnered with The Republican, Springfield's local newspaper, MassLive, and The Salvation Army, in their Toy for Joy holiday giving campaign. Toy for Joy, now in its 95th year, is using the this new partnership to make a literacy a key component of this year's campaign. Every child who benefits from the program will also receive at leas one book to share with their families.
Toy for Joy works with donors to make sure needy children in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties have toys and gifts each holiday season. "We have so many parents tell us that they didn't know it was important to read to babies, but there is an incredible amount of brain research that confirms that 80 to 90 percent of a child's brain is formed by the time they are three-years-old," said Sally Fuller, project director for Reading Success by 4th Grade, a program of the Irene & George Davis Foundation. Fuller said from her experience with childhood literacy over the years their reaction to getting a new book can be just as enthusiastic as their excitement over a new toy. Children receiving toys and books will range from 0-16 years-old. Fuller said books will be chosen based on a child's age, but will also take into consideration diverse cultural backgrounds and language. With a large Latino population in Western Massachusetts Fuller said she hopes to offer some books that are bilingual, making it easier for families to share the experience of reading the book together.
Read more about this amazing program below: