Recent News / Blog

Early Learning Coalition of NWFL to donate nearly 10,000 books

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida has received a massive shipment of books, totaling approximately 9,900. The books were delivered to the organization on Wednesday, purchased using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Tami Valdez, Community Development of Special Programs Director for the Early Learning Coalition of NWFL, said they expect the books to last at least two years.

“Reading is so important, and we’ve made a promise and a commitment to providing families with early learning resources, and this is just part of that commitment,” Valdez said.

The books, specifically selected for children ages zero to eight, will be distributed at several Early Learning Coalition of NWFL book events throughout the seven counties served. Children will have the opportunity to choose a book they like, helping them build their personal libraries.

“Reading, especially from birth to five, is crucial because they are learning all about reading and developing a love for it,” Valdez said. “It’s the foundation for learning. Babies will engage in sensory activities, looking in mirrors, feeling fabrics. As they get to be two, three, four years old, they’re learning numbers, colors, empathy, and understanding the world around them—all of which can come from a book.”

Education leaders emphasize that instilling a love for reading in children is important for lifelong success.

The Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida will distribute 100 books at the Books, Balls, and Blocks event on Friday at the Drip Coffee Co., located at 2440 St. Andrews Blvd, Panama City, FL 32405. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 21.