BELLE GLADE, Fla. — The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County has been providing students a foundation by making reading a priority for decades. And one program in the Glades is improving the quality of life for many families in the western communities.
It was pure joy inside the Glades Family Education Center Tuesday morning as a group of young kids emptied out a sack full of brand-new books.
"This is my favorite," shrieked 4-year-old Ayleen Vazquez.
Ayleen is learning her numbers and how to read as part of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County's Glades Family Education Program.
The program has become a vital resource in the community and is an opportunity for families to learn together.
"The adults are learning in one classroom where they're working on improving their English skills, their reading skills, their writing skills, while their pre-school children are in the other classroom learning skills they need for early literacy and school readiness to be prepared for kindergarten," said Kristin Calder, the CEO of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
The coalition has been prioritizing education and literacy in Palm Beach County for more than 30 years, while the Glades Family Education Program has been around for more than 25 years in Belle Glade.
"We often see multiple generations of families that have come through the program," Calder said.
This week, WPTV and its parent company, Scripps, donated hundreds of books to help the literacy coalition fulfill its mission.
"It means so much to the children and to their families to get to have a high-quality book that the child knows belongs to them and that they can read over and over again," Calder said. "We are able to see students that start out in pre-school go on to be their class valedictorian in high school and go on to get a college education."