Moms Demand Action leader collects books for kids | News

In My Family Labette’s office, Moms Demand Action volunteer Sherri Spare stood next to a table with boxes of books below and stacked on top, and each box was labeled for age groups. , from babies to toddlers to preschool.

“It’s great,” My Family Labette resource specialist Melanie Chappel said of the donations, which they estimate at between 300 and 500 pounds.

Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Every year they do service projects for their Wear Orange events the first week of June to raise awareness.

“Some of the other Moms Demand groups were doing things like a blood drive in Salina, a blood drive in Wichita, a safe house donation in Winfield, but I was alone here, so I thought, I’ll have a book drive them and give them to Melanie, and that way we’ll get books into the hands of families most in need,” Spare said.

Having been an elementary school teacher for over 30 years and being nationally certified, Spare knows the difference between literacy and a love of reading in a child’s success in school and in life.

Free reading of an article she kept posted above her desks at work and at home. He was talking about the importance of phonemic awareness, but only because it is on the path to phonetics, and phonetics is an important pathway to words, understanding, reflection, criticism, and empathy. And these are important for civic participation, self-efficacy, and the good life. One thing leads to another.

“If we can get books into the hands of kids who need them, and they can come to school a little better prepared, it will help their self-esteem to be higher because they know what’s going on. happens in a classroom,” Spare said. said. “The last four years I’ve been working in Title I, Kindergarten, and Grade 1, and I was doing flash cards with kids coming down the hall and saying, ‘Hey, let’s do a sentence about this word. ‘ and got, ‘Uh. Uh.’ There was no basic vocabulary. I thought that if we put the books in the hands of the children from zero to 5 years old, and that the parents who cannot afford to read them (books), they would get the basic vocabulary.

She said some kids come to school and they can’t hold a book.

“Reading to a child is the most important thing you can do to prepare them for school. Maybe they won’t be bullied. Maybe they won’t have low self-esteem. themselves and won’t turn to violence later on because it starts so small.

This may be part of the answer to help eliminate violence. Another part, she says, is love. Spare referenced two coffee mugs she gave her parents: “Love is the answer, no matter what the problem” and “Love is the only gift you can give.”

A child sitting on a parent’s lap while they read is a great way to share love and connection.

“In these mass shootings, there’s a lack of love somewhere and also a lack of language and communication skills, because they didn’t say, ‘I have problems. I need help.’ They went to get a gun and shot someone. It is a lack of language. If we can give children language much earlier, it’s proactive up to 20 years later. That’s why I’m collecting books.

Spare thought it would be a simple project. She could get donations by posting on Facebook. People could order online and send them directly to her or drop them off at her house.

“I was amazed at the response,” Spare said of all the books she received. “They came from very kind, loving and generous people and I am very grateful to them. I just spread the word and the books arrived, and I so appreciate the response. The response has been tremendous, beyond my dreams.

“A friend sent it to a friend and he has a lending library in Leavenworth and asked them to pick it up and it was a full car,” Spare said. “At the beginning, I thought that Mélanie could give each family two or three small books and that they could have them at home. Then when I filled up this car, this huge sum, so I thought maybe Melanie could have a lending library. They come here regularly for diapers and formula. I thought they could come and pick up books and when they were done they could bring them back and get new books when they were ready.

“Sometimes children love a book and want to read it again and again. It’s deeply important and useful. They start to recognize words.

Chappel said one of his home visitation groups, Parents as Teachers, also runs the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, where children ages 0-5 get a free book every month, but all of his visitation groups at home don’t offer it, so she’s happy to have books. available to all the families it helps.

Chappel is already planning a place in his office to install shelves.


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