ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 2, 2016– Throughout February of 2016, the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) and Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) held a series of six Reading with Ronald programs for preschoolers in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
Ronald’s special program included storytelling and magic tricks, with a specific goal to inspire children to read. At the end of the program, ELC also provided a free book to all children who attended.
These programs were in celebration of the statewide children’s movement culminating with Children’s Week at the Capitol in Tallahassee, which took place from January 24 through January 29, 2016.
“This is the ninth consecutive year that we have hosted the Reading with Ronald program, and this year was a huge success with a total of 800 children in attendance,” ELC’s Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson said.
The reading event couldn’t have taken place without the support of local McDonald’s franchise owners, including: Bill and Drew VanZante of St. Johns county, Mike Potapow of Bradford county, Tom and Diana Lisante of Nassau county, Jackie Bunting of Baker county, Karen King of Clay county and Mike Potapow who franchises in both Bradford and Putnam counties.
Children’s week raises awareness of the importance of early education issues in the legislature. Childcare centers and preschool classrooms come from all over the county for a field trip for these programs.