The Marine Toys for Tots Literacy Program Brings the Joy of Reading to Title I Schools

The Marine Toys for Tots Literacy Program is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty – one book at a time. Since 2008, the Program has distributed over 47 million books to underprivileged children. This year, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program is providing over 600,000 age-appropriate books to Title I school across the Nation – so that children in need not only enhance their reading and communication skills, but also develop a love for reading!

Cedar Forest Elementary School, in Fredericksburg, VA, hosted the back-to-school “Back to Pack” fundraiser, and families of over 815 children enrolled at the school came to show their support of the event. The Marine Toys for Tots Literacy Program provided books to the Title I school, and the students were able to select a book to pique their interest and love for the written word. 

This Program not only brings the joy of reading to children, but it also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty. “The biggest indicator for a child being successful in their educational career is the fact that they’ve had books read to them consistently by the age of five. Getting these books into their hands and setting them up for success is a life-changing thing,” said 5th grade teacher Joselyn B. 

Librarian Jennifer Crandol continued, “We do read-alouds every class period [for every] grade. Immersing them in that literature on a daily basis [is important].” Literacy is essential to developing a strong sense of well-being and citizenship – the Program is more than just providing books!

Volunteers were selling food and passing out school t-shirts as others helped distribute books. D.A.R.E., Spotsylvania's Parent Resource Center, law enforcement officers, first responders, and the school’s PTO attended the event to show support for the children in their local community. This book distribution will positively impact the lives of these children – after all, hope is just a book away!

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