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Do you know your manners? Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) students at Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center do! They held a fancy tea party to honor their Literacy Buddies. Students practiced for weeks to learn how to pour tea, sit with their hands in their laps, and how to make polite conversation using quiet voices. If you’d like to become a Literacy Buddy just click the Big Buddy Button on the home page of this web site!

2018 Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Our Literacy Buddies visited area preschools to read Big Al by Andrew Clements to Voluntary Prekindergarten classes. You know it’s a good book when 4-year olds sit still to hear the story of a big ugly fish! Our Literacy Buddies are a tremendous asset to preschools. Find out more when you press the Big Buddy Button on the home page.

It was a great day at Jet Blue Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Rays in a spring training match-up. We met a lot of nice folks at the Community Corner table, talked about what our coalition does for children and teachers and even recruited a few Literacy Buddies. The Red Sox love their off-season home, and it shows!

Thanks to Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club of the Fort Myers Area for securing a grant that allowed for the purchase of books for the Literacy Buddy Program. Some of those books went to the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center in Fort Myers, where the 4-year olds performed a play based on Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes. Have you thought about becoming a Literacy Buddy volunteer? You can sign up by tapping the big Buddy Button on our homepage.

January 21- 26, 2018 is Children’s Week in Florida. Each year thousands of children make hand art to be hung in the State Capitol rotunda to remind legislators to keep children’s issues in mind during the legislative session. The word is spread by using the social media tags #GiveUsAHand and @ChildrensWeek. The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida decorated offices in Fort Myers and Naples with hand art created at area preschools.

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