The Williamsburg Kiwanis Club heard from two groups dedicated to helping children recently during its regular monthly meeting.
Save the Children Community Engagement Coordinator Tammy Meadors spoke about the kindergarten readiness program that Save the Children already offers at three locations in Whitley County, with another three locations coming soon.
“The goal of the Save the Children programs in the county is to promote kindergarten readiness, and make sure the kids are in school and ready to learn. Last year a little over 52 percent of the children entered kindergarten not ready to learn,” Meadors noted.
Meadors displayed a copy of a children’s
book to the audience that she accidently ordered, which was written in Korean. She noted that the book is written in a foreign language that the audience couldn’t understand, which is the feeling a kindergartener might have when they enter a class, see a book written in English but aren’t prepared to learn.
“This is foreign. They don’t understand what these squiggly lines mean. Everyone else is running with it. The goal of our Save the Children programs is to make sure every child comes prepared to learn to ensure that they have the best future possible,” Meadors said.
The activities provided at the kindergarten readiness program focus on the skills children will need upon entering kindergarten, and include learning activities, snacks, story time and play time.
The kindergarten readiness program takes place from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Whitley County Board of Education Annex A Building in Williamsburg, Mt. Ash Baptist Church on Wednesdays, and Brays Chapel Church of God in the Canadatown area on Thursdays.
The program is coming soon to Corinth Baptist Church, Main Street Baptist Church and Whitley East Elementary School.
“Everything is geared with activities that the parents can do at home for them. Not only are they doing it while they are there, but they are teaching the parent this is what you need to be doing and why,” Meadors said.
Also during the readiness program, there is a book bag exchange where parents can exchange four different books each time so there are always books in the home.
“Reading is one of the most important things that a parent can do to ensure school success,” Meadors added.
Then The B Squad Project President Shannon Barman informed the club about charity’s most recent effort, the B-2-S Swag Sisters Event, which took 53 less fortunate children on $150 shopping sprees at J.C. Penney in Corbin.
The B Squad Project was founded last year, and organized to empower children and families helping provide basic necessities, promoting literacy, and instilling values and a sense of pride in our community.
The club’s next project is the Second Annual Gutsy Gunner’s Sweet Dreams, which has the goal of providing 50 beds to children in need in our community.
The giveaway will include one full hand-made platform bed, a mattress, nightlight, storybook and pajamas. The cost for each bed and accessories is $350.
Barman noted that Mountain Outreach is helping make the beds this year so there will be no cost except for materials.
During the meeting, the club also discussed the upcoming collectible show that will include sports cards, comic books, Pokemon cards and other collectible items.
It is scheduled for Oct. 26, and there will be a $10 fee per table to set up at the show.