SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole Breakfast and Lighthouse Credit Foundation announced that more than 6,000 books were distributed to needy deserving youth so far this year.
The club, and foundation, a not-for-profit corporation in Largo, report continued success with its pre-school reading and book giveaway program. The pre-school reading program entails members of the Kiwanis Club and employees of Lighthouse going out and visiting two preschools a month.
During the visit members read stories and sing songs with the children. At the conclusion of the session each child receives a book, which has a sticker with their name, so they can take it home with them to read and keep. So far this year, they have visited 20 area pre-schools and delivered 1,454 books to individual children. Many of these schools are Head Start, R-Club, church-sponsored or private preschools.
Due to the success of gathering books Kiwanis and Lighthouse began distributing books to area pre-schools in late July and early August for the individual school’s use. Under that program, the organizations have distributed 4,566 books to 52 different preschools and nonprofit organizations such as YMCA, local Head Start Agency and various local churches.
Future plans include the organizations setting up booths at local festivals to distribute free books where children attend, such as the Kiwanis Club of Seminole’s Fall Festival scheduled in early October, a November Reading Festival in South St. Petersburg, and The Kiwanis Club of the Gulf Beaches Children’s Festival, scheduled for later this fall.
The Kiwanis Club and Lighthouse appreciates the help of Simon & Schuster Publishers, Holland & Knight Law Firm, FACS Group Inc., Seashell Books.com and Wilson’s Books, as well as the many private donors without whose tremendous generosity this program could not survive.
“The support shown our club by local businesses and residents has been superb and greatly appreciated. However, we are always looking for active men and women who want to make a difference in their community,” John Sanguinett, club president, said. “Even though the reading program is this club’s main emphasis we also get involved and support things like the Kiwanis District’s “Horses for the Handicap,” the Kiwanis Club of Seminole’s (evening club) “Every Child a Swimmer,” Miss Seminole Scholarship Pageant, Seminole Stampede, Pinellas County’s Christmas Light Pageant at Seminole Park. The club also purchased pedometers for a special Pinellas County School project and cooked lunches for the Special Olympics participants,” Sanguinett said.
Lighthouse is also active in supporting other organizations in the community and recently sponsored their third annual Backpack to School event for 160 youth of the local Boys & Girls Clubs. The event featured a carnival theme and included a midway of games, face painting, snow cones, dunk tank, prizes and a barbecue. Each child also received a new backpack and school supplies at the end of the day. The donation of backpacks, school supplies and food was made possible through the generosity of Lighthouse, School-Bags.com, Bic Graphics, Chili’s Restaurants, and Sweet Tomatoes.
Contact the local “Dial 211” or call Madeline James at 450-2922. The Kiwanis Club of Seminole Breakfast meets Tuesday mornings at 7:15 a.m. at Sher’s Restaurant, can be directed to Lee Walters, club secretary, at 595-8343. The organizations always welcome more books and active members.