The Union Recorder

Opinion

August 22, 2012

Support local literacy efforts

MILLEDGEVILLE — Thursday, Baldwin County residents have the opportunity to join fellow Georgians in helping to bolster literacy efforts across the state by dining out at select local establishments.

Thursday marks the annual Dine Out for Kids Day with a portion of proceeds from area restaurants designated to support at-risk students by providing avenues for literacy education. A local beneficiary is the Ferst Foundation, which provides a book a month to local students up to age 5. The local Dine Out for Kids event is being held in partnership with Communities in Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County. This is the sixth year the event has been held. Last year, more than 100 restaurants across the state raised nearly $30,000 to help local students succeed in the classroom. These types of efforts go a long way in helping to combat this startling statistic: More than 20,000 students across the state of Georgia drop out of high school each year.

Earlier this year, the local CIS program was designated nationally accredited among the nearly 200 local affiliates in the CIS network spanning 25 states. As the presence and influence of CIS and other organizations that support after-school initiatives and literacy outreach grows, so too does academic achievement within the community — by encouraging parental involvement and community support. These types of efforts, involving all sectors in literacy and academic initiatives with the overall goal of raising the bar for student achievement, are vital, and they go hand in hand.

In recent years, the implementation of programs such as ASPIRE (A Student Parent Initiative Revitalizing Education), which focuses on family literacy and bolstering the reading skills of pre-K students, and CIS site coordinators at local schools that provide resources to assist at-risk students have made an impact.

To find out more or to learn which restaurants will take part in this cause on Thursday, visit www.milledgeville.communitiesinschools

.org.

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