Book Fairy Pantry Project Receives $25,000 Stephen King Grant

Listen to Pam Leo’s interview with Kindred about her new children’s book, community activism, and family literacy as a social justice movement here.

The Book Fairy Pantry Project is the proud recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The grant is supporting the distribution of BFPP’s founder, Pam Leo, and her first children’s book, Please Read To Me. Leo is also the author of the beloved book Connection Parenting.

“This goal of this campaign to lower the high risk for illiteracy of babies born to under-resourced families in Maine who often cannot afford board books for their new babies and may be unaware of the value and importance of reading to their babies early and often,” said BFPP founder, Pam Leo. “Without books in the home from the very beginning, parents are unable to give their babies the strong foundation they will need for one day learning to read and they will miss opportunities to strengthen their vital parent-child bond through reading to their babies.”

The Please Read To Me campaign will educate new parents about the importance of reading to their babies early and often by providing every new-baby family receiving WIC benefits in Maine with a free copy of our new board book.

This board book, with its multicultural illustrations (donated for use by multiple Maine illustrators) of parents and other creatures reading to their young, carries the message of the importance of, and all the opportunities for, reading to their babies and toddlers. Every time parents read the board book to their babies it will reinforce the book’s message of the “win-win” that happens when parents read to their babies early and often:

Win #1 – They build a strong foundation for later reading skills that will determine their child’s future standard of living and quality of life.

Win #2 – They will be strengthening the vital parent-child bond that is the foundation of every child’s humanity and resilience.

The grant allows for 12,300 copies (the number of babies born in Maine in 2018) of Please Read To Me board books to be distributed to babies born in Maine during 2021-2022. 

This is a community-supported, grassroots literacy campaign. The books will be delivered to the eight WIC offices in Maine by volunteers, and the directors of the eight main WIC offices throughout the state have agreed to store and distribute the books to the other WIC offices in their region. These offices will give the book to their families with new babies for one year, or until the grant-funded books are gone, whichever comes first. 

The Book Fairy Pantry Project is a literacy nonprofit initiative of Kindred World that is currently compiling a how-to guide to help people around the US and internationally start their own, local Book Fairy Pantry Projects. Many dozens of these projects have already begun using the free materials and guidelines on the BFPP website.

This intention of this campaign is to support and empower all Maine parents of new babies to give their babies the best possible foundation for literacy competency and to create stronger parent-child connections/bonds.

Please Read To Me is dedicated renown literacy activist, Dolly Parton. It is printed and produced in the USA by Pint Size Productions. The children’s board book is the first book published by the new Kindred World initiative, the Kindred World Publishing House.

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