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South Shore of Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas
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Literacy for the Littlest Project Supported by South Shore Foundation
October 2005

South Shore Helps Purchase Books for Children
South Shore Helps Purchase
Books for Children

This "check" of $10,500 represents the grant given by the South Shore Foundation to the Marion County Literacy Council. Shown are (from left) Marian Yancey, literacy council president, Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey, South Shore Foundation chairman, and Betsey Short, literacy council director. Marion County households with children ages five and younger are eligible to take part.



The "littlest" in Marion County - children from birth to age five - can count on receiving their own books at home from the Marion County Literacy Council since funding has been secured for the year. South Shore Foundation recently donated $10,500 to purchase books needed for this ongoing project of the literacy council.

Betsey Short, literacy council director, said the project was started in 2002 and last year served more than 250 pre-school children in Marion County.

"Literacy for the Littlest helps develop a love of books, reading, and family reading experiences by sending developmentally appropriate high quality books to enrolled children from birth to age 5," she said. There is no charge to the family for the books, she added, and the only requirement to enroll is keeping a correct mailing address current. Ms. Short said up to 350 children could be served this year.

The first book each child receives is The Little Engine that Could, and the last book, Now You’re Ready for Kindergarten, is mailed the month the child turns five, Ms. Short said.

Marion County Literacy Council was the first in Arkansas to team with the Dollywood Foundation in this "proactive" approach to literacy. The Dollywood Foundation provides the framework for the program, while Marion County Literacy Council is responsible for complete funding. The books are chosen by a board of educators and reading experts and are sent to the child at home. She said a recent survey of the families receiving books brought "overwhelmingly positive" responses. This and a Dollywood Foundation survey are available in the Marion County Literacy office.

According to the National Commission on Reading, reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading. The Carnegie Foundation cites studies showing that 35 percent of American residents enter school poorly prepared for learning to read.

South Shore Foundation is the charitable organization of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company (NATCO). For more information about the foundation or to apply for a grant, call toll-free 1-888-774-6731 or visit the Web site at www.southshore.com/foundation. NATCO is a family owned company since 1951 providing telephone service in six exchanges: Bull Shoals, Diamond City, Flippin, Lead Hill, Pyatt and Omaha. Its NATCO Technologies division is an Internet service provider for the entire Twin Lakes area, also including Mountain Home, Yellville and Harrison.

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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
Phone: (870) 453-8800 • Toll Free: 1-800-775-6682

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