Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
9:14 am EST
Saturday, November 27, 2021

W.T. Bland Public Library awarded $1,500 grant


The Florida Writers Foundation has awarded the W.T. Bland Public Library $1,500 to help sponsor the ‘1,000 Books Before Kindergarten’ program.

The reading initiative is a simple, innovative, yet fun approach to establishing strong early literacy skills that help young children gain the confidence necessary to become strong readers. Reading has been associated with an early indicator of academic success.

If parents or caregivers read just one book a day, that offers children ages 0 to 6 years old the chance to hear about 290,000 more words by the time they reach kindergarten. About half of all children in a national sample are seldom or never read to by their parents or caregivers. The ‘1,000 Books Before Kindergarten’ program rewards children with a free new book at important milestones – 100th book read, 500th book, etc.

The Florida Writers Foundation’s grant is sponsoring the 600th book read milestone for the library to purchase children’s books.

“We’re so appreciative that the Florida Writers Foundation has chosen to sponsor our initiative. Children become so excited when they can choose their own new book as a milestone prize, and now we’ll be able to reward those children reaching 600 books,” says Cathy Lunday, Library Manager. 

The Florida Writers Foundation, a nonprofit corporation formed to promote literacy, is a sister organization of the Florida Writers Association (FWA), and the two groups have many volunteers in common. FWF volunteers have made a difference by visiting elementary schools for reading days, sponsoring poetry contests, donating books to underprivileged schools and contributing funds to middle school writing contests. 

“We are happy we awarded this grant. What the library is doing with the grant fits our mission perfectly,” says Florida Writers Foundation President, Melody Dean-Dimick. 

For more information contact W.T. Bland Public Library at 352.735.7180, option 5, or at