Toys for Tots Literacy Program

TOYS FOR TOTS LITERACY PROGRAM HELPSDISADVANTAGED CHILDREN BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTYLegislative Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)Last month, I encouraged constituents to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program by donating a new, unwrapped toy to a child in need. This program, which I am again sponsoring and promoting, helps to put smiles on the faces of America’s disadvantaged children during the holiday season. For the past few years, it has been my honor to support this noble initiative throughout our community.If you’d like to participate, please bring a new, unwrapped toy to any of the following drop-off locations: Arby’s Restaurant, 280 Hamilton Street, Geneva; the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce, 113 S. Main Street, Canandaigua; the Seneca County Chamber, 2020 Seneca Falls-Waterloo Road, Seneca Falls; the Canandaigua VA, 400 Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua; or my district office located at 607 W. Washington Street, Geneva. Donations will be accepted between now and Tuesday, December 15. Without question, your generous gift will help make a local girl or boy’s holiday season happier.In addition to filling a child’s stocking with a new toy, we need to fill their minds and fuel their imaginations with the gift of literacy. Literacy can spell the difference between a lifetime of poverty and a brighter future. That’s why I’m also supporting the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, which allows indigent children to break the cycle of poverty by providing them with the tools to compete academically and communicate effectively. In short, this year-round program provides children in need with books to enhance their ability to read, study and analyze.The Toys for Tots Literacy Program was created in March, 2008 by the UPS Store and Mailboxes Etc. Their goal is to “deliver a message of hope and instill self-confidence to children in need.” Since its inception, nearly 900,000 books have been delivered to hundreds of thousands of less fortunate children across the country.The number of American children living in poverty continues to increase. In fact, the National Center for Children in Poverty reports that there are currently more than 13 million disadvantaged children living in the United States. In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. The National Center for Educational Statistics reveals that 33 percent of all fourth graders in this country cannot read at the most basic level. That is a tragedy, plain and simple. But it is a tragedy we can do something about!Each and every community can benefit from the Toys for Tots Literacy Program. Donations of cash or new, unwrapped children’s books can be made at The UPS Store, Mailboxes Etc. or online at www.toysfortots.org.Primary distribution of books and other educational materials takes place during the holiday season to children from preschool through high school. Just one dollar donated buys a brand new book for a child who would otherwise go without.Please join me in supporting the Toys for Tots Literacy Program this holiday season and throughout the year. As an Assemblyman, father and grandfather, I know how important it is to bring the joys of reading to our children. Literacy and a brighter future: it’s one of the most precious gifts we can give.

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