Written by Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County

Club families who benefit from Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s food programs can expect an added bonus. Since March, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County has handed out more than half a million meals to children and a week’s worth of groceries to more than 54,000 Club family members. Now, for 5 weeks, Club families will get literacy-based activity kits added to their food packages. The kits not only help nourish our Club families’ bodies but also stimulate Club children’s brains during a time that reading is traditionally not top of mind.

The Brain Food activity kits are made possible with a partnership with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and Living Hungry. Funding for the program was made possible with support from Prime Time Palm Beach County, Inc., which receives significant funding for its overall operations from the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.

Kits include engaging books and supplies for a wide variety of camp experiences at home. Parents can also rest easy because no technology is required for these activities!

“Parents have shared with us that they are feeling overwhelmed. Some parents have explained that they do not have internet access. Others have pleaded for easy-to-use educational activities for their children that provide a break from on-screen learning. To help meet these needs, as well as keep youth engaged with the empowering benefits of reading, we have designed literacy-based kits that come complete with books and related activity supplies. It is like a drive-thru kids meal with a little love and the gift of learning included, instead of a toy. My colleague, Callie Sharkey, and I are out-of-school time education specialists and as always, we strive to provide tools to help children to be excited to learn. And sometimes, origami paper, bubbles and beach balls can be an important part of bringing a book to life,” stated Nancy Birardi, Program Manager of the Literacy Coalition’s Read! Lead! Succeed! Program.

“It is essential for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County to do whatever it takes to combat the summer slide. Traditionally children lose academic ground over the summer months, but this year due to distance learning issues we’re seeing the summer slide look more like the loss of an entire academic year,” said President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda. ” We are grateful to partner with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and Living Hungry to provide one more tool in our arsenal to help reduce any achievement gaps in this difficult environment.”

The Brain Food activity kits are scheduled to be handed out during food distribution programs at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Palm Beach County through August.

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