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Early literacy is critical because it lays the groundwork for future learning. FSA knows that children love books and believes that all children should be able to access them and enjoy them. A recent example of joining with the community to prioritize literacy is a partnership with the United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) to install 12 mini libraries in Zones 4 and 6 neighborhoods. They brought a group approximately 40 EY employees to Orange County to tour Zone 4 to learn about FSA and spend the morning putting the finishing touches on the mini libraries.
The group first visited New Hope Elementary where they learned about FSA from Navigators Mariela Hernandez and Angela Clapp. Luis Rios, a teacher at New Hope and leader of a Ready for K cohort, brought some of his students in to start the morning off right with song and dance.
The group then traveled through Zone 4 to witness the fact that Orange County has the highest income disparities in the state. At their next stop, A.L. Stanback Middle School, the group heard from FSA partners who do school-based programs. Boomerang, El Futuro and the Compass Center all spoke about how FSA Navigators are the glue connecting partners to families.
The final stop on the EY Connect tour was the Orange County Health Department where volunteers painted the libraries. Earlier in the week the mini libraries were constructed by the LORD Corporation and Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. The libraries will be installed in FSA neighborhoods in the late Fall and will be full of 770+ free books for eager readers.
The libraries are being installed throughout Orange County by a group of FSA employees and volunteers. As soon as the cement dries, they will be loaded up with books. We will make a map available to all who are interested in visiting and using the mini libraries. The inaugural library was installed in the Gateway Community in Hillsborough and the second is up in the Ridgewood Trailer Park. These libraries will help all Orange County families to have access to books because a family that reads together succeeds together.