Pisgah Forest Rotary Club awards Smart Start with a Communtiy Grant!
Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) wishes the Pisgah Forest Rotary Club a sincere thanks for their recent grant award of $1000 to help intentionally support SSTC's early literacy program, Reach Out and Read (ROR).
Reach Out and Read is a national organization supporting early literacy in young children. SSTC is the local affiliate of Reach Out and Read Carolinas. Reach Out and Read gives children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. When families read together, it promotes healthy brain development, furthers language acquisition, and helps build meaningful bonds. SSTC works with Hendersonville Pediatrics of Brevard to deliver the program into the community. Currently, SSTC serves 500 children in the community via well child visits; each child is gifted an age-appropriate book to take home and keep. SSTC's goal is to increase this reach by 50%, about 250 more children. The grant is intended to purchase books to maintain a literary-rich waiting area or for additional books to take home as over 90% of language development occurs in the first few years of life.
ROR research cites that 61% of low-income families have no books in their homes. In Transylvania County, the rate of children (ages 0-5) living in poverty is 29%. Early literacy skills are crucial to the development of healthy minds and bodies, enabling children to enter kindergarten prepared for success with broader vocabularies and stronger language skills. In addition, proficient literacy affects our community's ability to create and sustain a workforce needed to ensure future prosperity.