Part of a statewide campaign to promote the importance of early literacy, the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas will celebrate “Literacy Week” in Pinellas, Jan. 27-31. Community leaders, philanthropists and volunteers are invited to read with the county’s youngest learners at more than 300 preschools. As part of this celebration, the ELC will be donating hundreds of books to early learning providers.

“Nowadays, children are expected to start kindergarten with basic reading skills. Without fostering this skill during their earliest formative years, we risk our community’s children struggling as they enter the school system,” says Rosa Rivera, director of Community Engagement. “We hope that the enthusiasm for books and reading shown by our guest readers positively influences the children we support.”

ELC hosts guest readers at various sites throughout the week, with each visit approximately 30 minutes. Readers include local philanthropists, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, elected officials, first responders and more. For information, email Camille Eckrem, quality programs supervisor, at or call 727-400-4457.

Help the ELC purchase books for childcare providers and support efforts to enhance early education. For information, call Rivera at 727-400-4430 or email

The Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County is a nonprofit agency focused on high-quality early care and education working with families and childcare providers to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life.