News Release – Vermont Early Educators United
September 27, 2013
Heather Riemer, Vermont Early Educators United
ST. JOHNSBURY, VT — Vermont Early Educators United (VEEU-AFT) has teamed with the organization First Book to distribute over a 1,000 books to children. Early educators around the state will be handing out high-quality, new books to low-income children (aged 0-5) as a campaign to encourage early literacy.
Judy Pransky, owner of Cherry Street PlayCare in St. Johnsbury, explained, “We are excited about the opportunity to give children their own books. As early educators, we know that reading to children is key to improving emerging reading skills. However, sometimes children have very little access to books; especially their own books and we want to make a difference the learning outcomes of low-income children.”
VEEU-AFT and Cherry Street PlayCare held a Parents’ Night Open House recently and handed-out over fifty books to children. More events are being scheduled all over Vermont. Information about upcoming events can be found on the Vermont Early Educators’ website: http://www.kidscountonme.org/kids/?q=calendar. The next event is scheduled for October 4th at Rabbit Track Daycare in Bradford.
“We are dedicated to making a difference in literacy one child at a time.” Pransky explains, “As a VEEU leader, we decided to invest in children. Cherry Street PlayCare serves mostly low-income families, and it is the perfect place to begin our book campaign. We want every child to have the opportunity, responsibility, and the joy of owning their own books.”
AFT-VT, through its partnership with First Book, has been able to give away over 100,000 books to students across the country—students who wouldn’t otherwise have them. Both home-based and center-based programs are eligible if 70% of the families served qualify for state subsidy.
Vermont Early Educators United (www.kidscountonme.org) has been advocating for the past three years in support of a bill that would allow early educators in Vermont to form a union and bargain with the state over reimbursement rates. VEEU also offers trainings for early educators and is working with First Book to deliver children’s books to low-income children in Vermont.
First Book provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book (http://www.firstbook.org/) has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.