Nearly 8,000 Backpacks Delivered to Pre-K Classrooms
Building children’s reading skills at an early age is critical to their success and the success of their community. Jax Kids’ Book Club (first formed more than 15 years ago as Mayor Peyton’s Book Club) gives rising kindergarteners a set of books of their very own to build their home libraries. This program is especially valuable for children in lower-income homes where there may not be any age-appropriate reading material.
In 2021, Kids Hope Alliance transferred the program to Jacksonville Public Library. With the sponsorship of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation and several other generous community partners (listed below), the Library continued the proud tradition of distributing the books to VPK classrooms throughout the county, giving nearly 8,000 backpacks filled with books, a bookmark, an interactive toy and a library card application to give them the tools they need to build a lifelong love of reading, writing and literacy.
An additional 2,000 backpacks are available for Duval County families with rising kindergarteners who are not enrolled in a VPK classroom. These may be picked up at any library location while supplies last.
“It warms my heart to know that the Library is able to help children build their own libraries,” said Kathy McIlvaine, Chair of the Board of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation. “We hope that children enjoy the books and we look forward to seeing them at their neighborhood libraries soon!”
The program would not be possible without the confidence of the Kids Hope Alliance, nor without the sponsorship of the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation and these other wonderful organizations who value reading, writing and literacy: JM Family Enterprises/SE Toyota Distributors, Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Walmart, PNC Bank, Nemours, Coker Law, Florida Blue, Vystar Credit Union, and Pajcic & Pajcic.
Those interested in contributing to the Jax Kids Book Club program should contact the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation at (904) 255-6192 or call the Library at (904) 255-BOOK (2665).
About The Jacksonville Public Library Foundation: The Jacksonville Public Library Foundation was incorporated in 1986 as a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. The Library Foundation provides support to Jacksonville Public Library over and above taxpayer support and free from political influence by building public-private partnerships and encouraging investments for the future. For more information visit www.jplfoundation.org.
About Jacksonville Public Library: The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 1.5 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 3.5 million times, and over 6,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit jaxpubliclibrary.org.