Many families who struggle financially do not have books at home for their children to read, but children who read books at home regularly have a higher success rate in school, according to the National Education Association.
Rizzoli’s is collecting books for all reading levels at both of its Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo locations. The books will then be donated to Raising A Reader program and Altrusa of the Central Coast. Anyone who brings in a donation will receive $10 in “Rizzoli’s Bucks” to use towards service.
“We found out that many local children don’t have a single book to read at home,” said Kyle Rizzoli, the general manager for Rizzoli’s Automotive. “Every child should be given the opportunity to gain pre-reading skills prior to elementary school because it sets them up for success later in life. Fortunately, our close connection with the SLO County Community Foundation led us to the Raising A Reader program. Supporting Altrusa was just the natural next step for us.”
Raising A Reader is an early literacy program that supplies simple training and preschool books to low-income families in our community. Studies show that family participants see a significant increase in desired behaviors encouraged by the program, including child attentiveness and communication. Raising A Reader strives to prepare preschool aged children for school and lifetime success.
Altrusa of the Central Coast’s main focus is on literacy. Every year it holds community events where free books are distributed to both children and adults. They also give away free books away every summer at their annual Festival of Books in Santa Maria. But Altrusa still needs book donations year-round.
One in three children in San Luis Obispo County enter kindergarten lacking pre-reading skills, and many children in poorer neighborhoods don’t own a single book, according to the program. But in the areas where the program has been established, preschool children enter elementary school with greater pre-reading skills.
Rizzoli’s Automotive has been a family run business for three generations, taking pride in supporting the local community. In the last year alone, Rizzoli’s has collected 607 books for the Raising A Reader program and 700 books for Altrusa. It strives to collect even more this year. Books can be dropped off at 2584 Victoria in San Luis Obispo and at 1149 W. Tama Lane in Santa Maria.
For more information, call (805) 541-1082 in San Luis Obispo or (805) 922-7742 or visit www.RizzolisAutomotive.com. For more information about Raising A Reader or Altrusa, visit www.sloccf.com or www.altrusaclubcentralcoast.org.