Latino Community Service Agency in Montebello Named as First Recipient
MONTEBELLO, Calif. (Mon., Feb. 29, 2016) ― The Molina Foundation announced today that it has received a major donation of 600,000 new children’s books for its national mission of promoting literacy at home and its work to help close the country’s “word gap” impacting youths in underserved communities.
The donated publications, which include educational materials, are in English, Spanish and bilingual ― and are geared for youths ranging from kindergarteners to high schoolers. The generous donation was made by Pearson through the Pearson Book Donation Program.
The Molina Foundation, by way of its Book Buddies program, will distribute the publications to nonprofit groups, community agencies and public libraries across the nation, according to Foundation and Pearson officials. The distribution effort, to be conducted during 2016 and beyond, will also be a cooperative endeavor with a diversity of other participants, including literacy projects, day care facilities, city programs, food bank service providers and faith-based groups.
The donation announcement was made during a young children’s reading party at the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, the local community service agency selected as the first donation recipient. The MAOF will receive a total of 5,000 books that will be given primarily to the families and children who participate in the agency’s Head Start preschool programs for low-income households.
“We are deeply appreciative of this Pearson donation and it will greatly help us help children in their academic and personal achievement,” said Molina Foundation President and Founder Dr. Martha Bernadett. “We know that giving out books and learning materials can have a wonderfully positive impact on families and communities.”
In addition to fostering a love of reading and helping households create word-rich environments, The Molina Foundation is dedicated to helping bridge the “word gap” problem, the dramatic difference in vocabulary levels between economically disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. By age 4, middle- and upper-income children can hear up to 30 million more words than poorer children.
Education research also shows that in some low-income neighborhoods there is only one book available on average for every 300 children.
The Molina Foundation is Long Beach, CA-based national nonprofit organization committed to reducing disparities in access to education and health. Since 2004, The Molina Foundation has worked with thousands of organizations and schools towards this end, donating nearly 4 million new children’s books and hosting workshops and programs for educators and families.