Valdosta City School District

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Kiwanis Club Literacy Grant Winners

Kiley Cashwell, VCS central office employee, received a $1,000 grant for her VCS Books for Christmas initiative that provides elementary students with wrapped books for the holidays.  This will be the third year VCS central office staff has raised money to provide individually wrapped books to students at Christmas.  Each year the project has grown.  The first year 700 books were delivered and this year they hope to provide 1,400 books to students throughout the district's elementary schools.  Volunteers will deliver wrapped books to each school with snacks and take time to read in each of the elementary classrooms. 


Dara Holt, VCS PreK - 5 curriculum director, also received a $1,000 grant. Funds presented to Holt by the Kiwanians will be used to purchase books for Pinevale Elementary Pre-K students to keep in their homes.  The goal is to increase access to print and improve reading achievement not only for these students, but for all children in the home.  Owning personal copies of books encourages children to read for pleasure and encourages discussion among family members about what they have read, thereby providing children with information, vocabulary, imaginative richness, wide horizons, and skills for future learning.  Placing books in the homes of our most at-risk students will not only increase the literacy levels of these children, but the entire family.


Each student in Pinevale Elementary PK classes will receive a bag of early reading books to take home at the beginning of the school year. Bags will be presented to families at a family literacy workshop, where PK staff will provide tips and strategies for building literacy skills. The bag will include information for parents about the importance of reading at home and suggestions for the best and easiest ways to make reading with their children a regular and fun activity.


Thank you Kiwanis Club of Valdosta for the generous donation and promotion of early literacy!


Photos: Kiley Cashwell (VCS-CO) and Justin Cabral –Kiwanis Club of Valdosta President; Dara Holt (VCS PK-5 Director) and Justin Cabral –Kiwanis Club of Valdosta President