Helena-West Helena Kiwanis members were introduced to the adventures of Rocket and Yellow during a special reading session at last Wednesday's noon luncheon meeting. Mollie Palmer and Catherine Bahn, co-directors of Together for Hope, were the guest speakers and discussed the organization's introduction to reading program for preschoolers.
Palmer reported that Together for Hope currently partners with five preschools – KIPP Delta, Kids for the Future, the Helena-West Helena School District, Head Start and ASU/ABC and two family programs, HIPPY and Save the Children – to support and resource preschool education in the community.
“We want to invite you to help,” stated Palmer. “This Christmas, our goal is to provide a new book for every child at each of our partner preschools.”
The number of books needed is 500.
“We've set up an Amazon wish list of books preschool teachers recommend,” continued Palmer.
The list of books can be found at www.togetherforhopear.com. Those who don't like to shop online, can send a donation specially designated for pre-k Christmas books.
Bahn stated that the goals of the goals of the Together for Hope pre-k reading program are to:
•Increase children's access to books;
•Resource teachers, parents and classrooms;
•Provide new ways for students to get excited about reading and develop positive beliefs about their own potential to succeed; and
•Engage the community in understanding the importance of preschool and supporting its youngest learners.
Palmer said that she selected Rocket and Yellow Bird for the reading because the characters stressed the importance of learning new words and building a vocabulary.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship established Together for Hope in 2001. TFH is a 20-year commitment to 20 of the most economically challenged counties in the country. The organization focuses on youth development and literacy in the Arkansas Delta.