Sunday, May 15, 2016

Onward and Upward

Next week will mark the completion of our third year of operation.  It is hard to believe that the time has passed so quickly.  What started out as a not-so-little dream has turned into a very humbling reality.  We have been blessed with wonderful community support which has given us the opportunity to visit many schools and students throughout the Quad Cities in the past three years.  If we had to sum it up into one word I think it would be this:  amazing.

Thanks to grant funds and many, many volunteers, once this year wraps we will have donated nearly 1000 book and blanket sets to kindergarten students at nine different schools in the area.  That is a lot of cutting and tying!  We have hosted three Family Literacy Nights at Monroe and sponsored a visit by a national author at Monroe and Jefferson Elementary, as well as a local author visit at Delwood.  This past fall we completed the first Crate Library project, providing 75 kids at Monroe with their very own home library, as well as providing thousands of new and used books for free book stores and book donations prior to school breaks.

And our work has only just begun.

Each year we strive to reach more kids, get more books in the homes of children, and spread the word about the importance of reading each and every day.  Much of our work has been hands-off, meaning we provide the tools necessary, but outside of Family Literacy Night events we don't physically work with the kids.  Our hope is for that to change during the upcoming year.  While we will continue with the programs we have already created and implemented, it is time to do more.  It is time to inspire, motivate, and actively help these children improve their literacy skills outside of school.  We have a little plan in mind.  We'll be meeting with faculty at a school this week to discuss the plan and will share our vision soon.  

One foot in front of the other.

Up to this point, the majority of our work has been done in the Quad Cities.  Next year, we will be starting a new chapter in Clinton County.  Expanding geographically is very exciting and it is our hope that in time we will expand even more.  Ultimately, our goal is to have chapters of From Cover to Cover all over the United States.  How awesome would it be to know that children at-risk all over the country are given the opportunity to snuggle up and read in their homes?

Our first step is to build the organization within Iowa and Illinois.  Are you passionate about literacy?  Do you know someone who is?  Are you feeling called to make a difference in your community?  This is a great project that touches so many kids and provides an opportunity for kids to help other kids.  If you or someone you know would be interested in this opportunity, please email fromcovertocoverproject@gmail.com.  We would be thrilled to help you begin your journey!

We feel strongly that the opportunities to reach children are endless.  There are hundreds of thousands of kids all across our country who have little opportunity, if any, to read at home.  Being a proficient reader opens doors in the future.  A book, that very tool many of us take for granted, can change a child's life and it is such a simple gift to give. 

Our journey has just begun.  Our work is far from done. 

 

  



     

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wrapping Up

Can you believe another school year is almost through?

We have been busy scheduling our final two donations of the school year, as well as meeting with faculty and staff to plan some exciting new programs for next year.  Oh, and working on our golf tournament and River Bandits charity game!  Busy is good!  Busy means more kids reading!

Today we donated over 70 book and blanket sets to the sweet kindergarten class at Fillmore.  They were so well-behaved and polite.  Way to go kids!  There were some very excited kids checking out their blankets and looking through their books.  We really had a great time and look forward to heading back in the fall with books for our Birthday Book Club!

Thank you to all who have supported us this school year!  Our work is far from done, but we have put thousands of books in the homes of children in the Quad Cities and donated about 200 more book and blanket sets with one more donation to go.

Want to get involved?  With our continuing expansion of programs, we can always use the help!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Save the Date!

We have two fundraisers scheduled for this summer.  On Sunday, July 10th, join us for an evening with the Quad City River Bandits.  The game starts at 5:45 and it is family Sunday.  The kids can get autographs and run the bases.  Tickets are only $8, with $4 coming back to our organization.  Send us an email and we'll be sure to reserve your seats!

On Sunday, July 17th, we will be hosting our First Annual Swinging for Literacy golf outing at Hidden Hills in Bettendorf.  Cost is $70 per player and includes 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch, and a complimentary beverage.  Registration will begin at 11:30 followed by lunch at noon and a 4-person best ball tournament with a shotgun start at 1:00.  Have your foursome together?  Email us and reserve your spot?



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BIG Announcement Revealed

Today was a wonderful, inspiring day.  We were honored and grateful to receive a $2000 grant from the Bettendorf Rotary Club at their annual awards luncheon today.  This is the second time we have been awarded a grant from this organization and we can't wait to put it to use.  It is a privilege to be in the company of such dedicated, hard-working volunteers who strive to make a difference in their community by fundraising and donating the funds back to those in need.

One of the greatest treasures of an event such as this, is listening to all of the grant recipients share about their organization and the work they do.  There are so many wonderful projects going on all around the Quad Cities that we may know very little if anything about.  It is truly amazing.

There is usually one common theme:  serving people who are at-risk and/or living in poverty.  Whether it be educating, feeding the hungry, providing activities to keep kids off the streets, or raising awareness, the root of all the work is helping those in need.

We always leave inspired and ready to forge ahead on the next adventure.

And do we have an adventure.  Today we officially announced our intent to work with ALL of the Title One elementary schools in the Davenport Community School District by implementing a Birthday Book Club for ALL of the students.  Our goal is to provide each school with the books necessary to allow each student the opportunity to choose their very own book to take home on their birthday.  Have a summer birthday?  No problem!  We'll celebrate on your half birthday.

This is a very large undertaking, as there will be 12 Title One schools in the district next year.  This means between now and August, we need to acquire roughly 5000 NEW books appropriate for children in grades K-5.  These books will be delivered to each school at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year so we can get the ball rolling right from the start.

How are we going to make this happen?  We will be writing grants and fundraising like crazy of course, but we will also be turning to the community for help.  Have a child in elementary school at home?  Why not have them select one of their favorite books to donate?

Could you imagine how AWESOME and meaningful this project would be if 5000 local kids each selected a book to donate?  It makes my heart full even thinking about it.  This is a unique opportunity for kids to serve others and lends itself to teaching your kids a valuable life lesson.

Want to be part of something amazing?  Own or work for a business who would like to get involved?We'd love to hear from you!  Together we can ensure over 5000 kids have a new book to enjoy at home.

We can be contacted at fromcovertocoverproject@gmail.com

Six months and counting!



Friday, January 15, 2016

Busy, Busy

2016 is off and running!  With our newly attained 501(c)3 status, we are feeling quite ambitious and excited about what this year will bring.  We will be applying for new-to-us grants in hopes of funding some pretty amazing initiatives.

What have we been up to?  In December we donated 587 new books to Monroe for our annual holiday book gift.  All students in grades K-5th received a brand new, age-appropriate book to call their very own.  Next week we will be visiting Washington Elementary in Davenport to surprise their kindergarten students with a book and blanket of their very own to snuggle up with and read.  In late February, we will once again visit Monroe and put on our first Family Literacy Night event of the school year.  We are looking forward to another night of fun with the sweet kids and families.

We would like to thank the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend and Bettendorf Rotary Club for honoring our grant requests.  We would also like to thank the Davenport Kiwanis Club for approving our funding request.  This money will all go to fund our current initiatives, as well as making it possible for us to expand our programs.

We would also like to thank all of the individuals, youth organizations, and civic groups for their support.  The blankets, books, and financial gifts are much-appreciated.  It warms our hearts to hear of so many kids helping kids right here in their own community.

The future is looking bright and we look forward to another successful year promoting literacy to children in the Quad Cities.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Crate Library Project Success! Holiday Book Drive Begins!

We would like to thank all of our supporters who made our Crate Library Project a success.  75 kindergarten students at Monroe were able to take their crate filled with 25 books home this week!

After much consideration regarding how the kids would get these heavy little treasures home, we opted to coordinate the donation with parent/teacher conferences.  We are so excited the kiddos now have new books to read at home and we hope to add more to those libraries throughout the year.

That brings us to our next project:  the Holiday Book Drive!  Last year we provided all of the students, K-5th, with a brand new book right before the holiday break.  Our goal is to provide this gift again this year and we would love for you to be a part of this special gift.  We are especially in need of NEW books appropriate for kids in 2nd-5th grade.  Our goal is to collect 600 books.

How can you help?  Order a few extra books through your child's Scholastic book order, donate money (found in the get involved tab), host a new book drive at your church, work, or civic organization, or simply grab a book the next time you're at the store.

As always, we have a drop spot at the Mel Foster office on Spruce Hills Drive in Bettendorf and the DeWitt Public Library.






Wednesday, September 30, 2015

From Cover to Cover Opens 2015-2016 School Year At...Monroe, of Course!

Our year is officially off and running!  On September 18th we visited Monroe Elementary in Davenport for our first book and blanket donation of the school year.  74 sweet kindergarten kiddos joined in our story, Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes and left with their special gift.  What a great, respectful, excited little bunch they were!

An article published this week has fueled our passion for continuing our work with From Cover to Cover.  Once again, there is research in the news backing the importance of our mission and our commitment to working with Title One schools in the Quad Cities.  Monroe has been our starting point and we would like to expand these opportunities to other schools in the area.  During the 2015-2016 school year, we will continue to provide extra opportunities for students at Monroe to build their home libraries and participate in enrichment literacy activities all free of cost.

We are in need of a little extra help right now while we wait for our 501(c)3 status to be official.  Can you help us get our next program up and running at Monroe?  You can read more about our goals at our Go Fund Me Page:  https://www.gofundme.com/ap4q7shs

Every dollar counts and puts another book in the homes of the children we work with.  We appreciate your help and support.  It truly makes a difference int he lives of so many kids in our community.