Press Release (ePRNews.com) - HOUSTON - Jul 27, 2017 - Wells International Foundation (WIF) founder and CEO Monique Y. Wells traveled from Paris, France to her hometown of Houston, Texas in June 2017 to kick off partnerships with the Houston Public Library and the Put It In A Book Foundation on projects that promote literacy for African-American children in grades K-3. She launched WIF’s literacy initiative in Houston because she is anxious to give back to her community by partnering with like-minded organizations to promote a love of reading in African-American youth.
On June 17, WIF and the Houston Public Library hosted the all-day read-a-thon called People and Pajamas at the Johnson Branch in the Sunnyside community in south Houston. Currently, 35% of the population in this community live below the poverty line and youth in the community are especially at risk for low academic and literacy success.
Eighty-five (85) persons (63 children and 22 parents) came out to listen to community leaders, library staff, parents, and Dr. Wells (14 persons in all) read to neighborhood children from 10 AM until 5 PM. There were breaks for refreshments, lunch, and arts and music activities to keep the kids engaged.
Many participants came to the library in pajamas to evoke the scenario of reading before bedtime. Kids earned free books for each session they attended so they could begin or add to their home library.
A total of 226 books were given away.
On June 20, the Children’s Museum of Houston hosted a session for parents to bring their kids to talk with Dr. Wells about veterinary medicine as a career. This was followed by a story time session in the Parent Resource Library (operated by the Houston Public Library), where Dr. Wells read to little ones and their parents about the variety of things one can do as a veterinarian.
At the story time session, the museum displayed all 10 children’s books about veterinary medicine that it acquired at Dr. Wells’ suggestion. The museum also made toy stethoscopes available for participants.
On June 30, WIF proudly donated its first set of books to the Put It In a Book Foundation (PIIAB), giving 28 brand new books to this local organization. Most of the titles introduced topics related to life science and travel. PIIAB will distribute them to children at Shadydale Elementary School in northeast Houston for the back-to-school book giveaway. Some of the books may also be distributed at Atherton Elementary School in Houston’s Fifth Ward.
The People and Pajamas read-a-thon was the trial run for a 24-hour read-a-thon called “Reading Never Stops,“ which WIF and the Houston Public Library will host in July 2018. Their mission is to keep kids reading throughout the summer so they can avoid “Summer Slide” and be ready for school in the fall.
On July 11, WIF launched a fundraising campaign for the 24-hour read-a-thon as part of the Macy’s Shop for a Cause Charity Challenge. Macy’s is hosting a friendly campaign where charities across the U.S. compete for grand prize cash donations. The department store chain is offering $300,000 in bonuses to charities entering the campaign, including a $100,000 prize for the charity that raises the most money by the end of the campaign.
The Charity Challenge runs through August 9 at 1:59:59pm ET.
A gift of $5 to WIF’s “Reading Never Stops” fundraiser can buy a single book to help a deserving child start or build a home library. To learn more about the campaign and to give to this cause, visit http://bit.ly/TRNS10k.
The Wells International Foundation cultivates global citizenship through education and culture. For more information, visit http://wellsinternationalfoundation.org.
Wells International Foundation