Team First Book anxious to use HEB donation

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Team First Book Matagorda County chair Cynthia Garrett, left received $15,000 for books for all Pre-kindergarten - 3rd grade students in Matagorda County from Bay City HEB store manager Clint Hewitt, right. The funds were donated from the HEB Tournament of Champions.

   HEB Tournament of Champions recently donated $15,000 to Team First Book Matagorda County (TFB).
    Members of TFB look forward to using it to boost literacy in Matagorda County. 
   First Book’s mission is to provide brand new, high quality and age-appropriate books to low-income children in our county.  
   This extra funding from HEB will allow for TFB to provide all students in Matagorda County, from Pre-Kindergarten to 3rd grade with two additional books for their home libraries. 
   According to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the study entitled, Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation, “Confirms that students who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. 
   “Poverty compounds the problem, both in terms of family income and for children who are growing up in concentrated poverty.” 
   TFB strives to promote reading by helping create home libraries for all children in Matagorda County to ensure parents are equipped to read to their children. 
   This is the 16th year TFB has served our community and we have provided over 145,000 books to children in Matagorda County since 2003.  
   According to “Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Books and Schooling in 27 Nations” published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, “A 20-year international study, however, has revealed an even bigger predictor of a child’s academic success: the presence of books in the home. 
   “Regardless of nationality, level of education, or their parent’s economic status, children who grew up with books in their homes reached a higher level of education than those who did not.”
   TFB is incredibly appreciative to all donors, great and small, but specifically wishes to express gratitude to HEB for making a significant difference in the lives of the children of Matagorda County. 
   To learn more about TFB or to donate either your time or monetarily, please contact Cynthia Garrett, Chair, Team First Book Matagorda County, 326 Main Street, Palacios, TX 77465, call 979-533-0808 or visit: www.firstbook.org/Matagorda

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