On May 28, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and three other organizations received generous grants from the Sacramento Kings as part of the basketball organization's reading and literacy campaign. A ceremony was held at the North Natomas Library in Sacramento.
As part of a season ticket sales campaign that took place earlier this year, the Kings offered to donate fans' $200 deposits for 2014-15 season tickets to local reading and literacy initiatives if they totaled $100,000 by March 3.
Preschool Bridging Model Plus, a SCOE program funded by First 5 Sacramento and First 5 California, was one of four programs to receive a $25,000 grant. The money will allow SCOE to provide professional development and resources to private child care centers and family child care providers in high-need communities. Additionally, staff will conduct parent workshops and provide resources for a lending library.
Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon accepted the donation on the program's behalf. "We are so grateful to the Kings," he said. "They are such good and generous partners in our community. This donation will help our youngest students develop the most important of all academic skills: reading."
Each grant recipient also received a framed, commemorative Sacramento Kings jersey. During the donation ceremony, children participated in a reading "timeout," led by members of the Kings organization.
In addition to Preschool Bridging Model Plus, three other local programs received donations:
- United Way's STAR Readers: This project helps local children with significant challenges read at level by the end of third grade.
- Sacramento READS!: This program is a 10-year initiative for children up to age eight to improve literacy by focusing on school readiness, school attendance and summer learning loss.
- Sacramento Public Library: The library system delivers more than 2,300 programs annually to children under the age of five, serving more than 65,000 children and their parents and caregivers, teaching through play, music, stories and fun. The donation will help expand the 1,600 reading programs delivered throughout 28 locations by 20 percent.