The Legacy Foundation believes reading is important because children who read for pleasure score higher on standardized tests, have greater reading comprehension skills, and display higher general knowledge levels.
First, Legacy Foundation staff visited Pickwick Preschool on March 11th and distributed the books and bookmarks directly to the 390 preschool students. Preschoolers received a copy of Moo Dog by David Milgrim, a book selected by Pickwick Preschool Teachers.
The Legacy Foundation also partnered with the Ottumwa Public Library to distribute books and bookmarks to Ottumwa youth as part of the Library’s Spring Break Craft Bag Giveaway on March 13th. Children could choose one of three books at the event; Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks, It’s Ok to be Different by Todd Parr, or Be Who You Are by Todd Parr. Legacy Foundation Staff chose the books for their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Additionally, a copy of Save Me a Seat was given to every fourth-grade student at James Elementary. All 85 children at the Ottumwa Family YMCA Discovery Lane child development center also received a copy of either Be Who You Are or It’s Ok to be Different.
“After a challenging year, it was exciting to be able to partner with the school district and other groups making huge impacts in the lives of children, and provide kids with a book of their own,” said Heather Larson, Communications and Special Projects Manager for the Legacy Foundation. “You could see the kids smiles as they received their books, even through their masks. It was exciting to be able to bring a little fun to the children while also helping them read more.”