The first annual Giving Tree Book Drive, hosted by LearningQuest – Stanislaus Literacy Centers, invites community members to visit a Giving Tree site to pick up a tag and donate two to three new books for the child of a LearningQuest student – an adult learner working toward their educational goals.
Over 100 children have been signed up to receive the donated books in order to start or add to their home libraries. The book drive ends on Dec. 12, just in time for students to bring the books home for their children during the holidays and continue the foundation of literacy in the family.
The Giving Tree Book Drive was inspired by the many parents enrolled in LearningQuest’s free educational services and the growing research showing the impact of a parent’s education level on the literacy and employment of their child as an adult. Earning a diploma, learning English, or learning how to read and write holds an even greater responsibility when statistics show:
· About 50% of young adults will reach the same level of education as their parents.
· Adults with high school educated parents are 11% more likely to be employed than an adult with a parent that did not graduate from high school.
· In the U.S., adults with parents without a high school diploma earn a lower income (less than $28,000 a year) than those whose parents have a high school or college diploma.
“The Giving Tree Book Drive is the first phase of the annual Literacy for the Holidays fundraiser where checking ‘literacy’ off a student’s wish list is made possible due to the contributions of those advocating for education in the community,” said Karen Williams, LearningQuest Executive Director. “Keeping LearningQuest services free to access removes one large barrier for many hopeful adults and gives them a real gift for the holidays — the ability to do things often taken for granted, such as read a book to their child, ask a question in English, or apply for a better job. “
LearningQuest students, Beverly Hardee and Karla Flores are mothers wanting to reach their educational goals in order to support and become role models for their children.
Hardee dropped out of school after 8th grade and took some time to find her way back to education. Quickly after enrolling at LearningQuest, her family became homeless and had to sleep in their car.
“I wanted more, not only for myself, but for my children. That was no life for them and I wasn’t setting the example I wanted them to follow. It was time for me to find my path,” said Hardee.
She still kept attending class and at this past October’s Graduation ceremony, she celebrated earning her diploma and becoming the Valedictorian.
For Flores, coming from Jalisco, Mexico where access to resources and education is limited, she knew the importance of finding a good job and the impact it has on a family. After arriving in the U.S., she knew that getting closer to a better job would begin when she could confidently read and write in English. Flores has been receiving one-on-one tutoring in LearningQuest’s Library Literacy program for since May 2018 and aims to learn more in hopes of finding a better job to provide for her children.
“To know is power in all aspects. When a person has more knowledge, it is easier to have a better job opportunity, a better salary, and a better work environment,” Flores said.
Book donations can be dropped off in Turlock at 1570 Fulkerth Rd.
To learn more about LearningQuest’s Literacy for the Holidays campaign, visit www.LQSLC.com/holidays.