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The UPS Store and Marine Toys for Tots Foundation encourage childhood literacy

Pictured are Jack Lynch, manager, The UPS Store Marquette and Angela Johnson, Great Start Collaborative director. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — In an effort to help deliver the gift of reading to less fortunate children in the United States, The UPS Store® located at 3224 U.S. Highway 41 West supports the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

This year marks the 13th anniversary of The UPS Store Toys for Tots Literacy Program, launched in 2008 with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Together, UPS® and The UPS Store network have collected nearly $7.3 million and distributed more than 44 million books to the most economically disadvantaged children across the nation.

The UPS Store locations collect donations year-round to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to support local children and literacy programs. Every dollar helps put a book in the hands of a child in need, and thanks to the generosity of the Marquette community, The UPS Store in Marquette will be delivering $1,500 worth of books to local children through the Great Start Collaborative.

“The community’s participation in the Toys for Tots Literacy Program is a key component to the success of this promotion,” said The UPS Store Manager Jack Lynch in a news release. “This program provides us the unique opportunity to work with a nationally-recognized organization yet make an impact in our community, which is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from the people in this area.”

The Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalitions hold events and activities throughout the year where they will distribute the books to young children. “Reading helps young children build literacy and language skills, so children enter school with a love of books and ready to learn,” said Angela Johnson, director of the Collaborative. “We are grateful to The UPS Store and the contributing members in our community for the donation of books.”

According to Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, children who grow up in homes where books are plentiful go further in school than those who don’t.

On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age appropriate books in their homes, and half of them start first grade up to 2 years behind their peers.

The vast majority of children who start behind, stay behind, leading to an increase in our nation’s dropouts rate among low-income and minority students. Children from traditionally low-education families can do as well as children from high-education families if they have access to books at home.

The Toys for Tots Literacy Program continues to not only deliver the gift of reading, but also the promise of a bright future.

For additional information, visit theupsstore.com/literacy.

The Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative is a network of educators, agencies, early childhood professionals, community leaders, and parents invested in quality early childhood and family programming, services, and supports. Our vision for our community is that all children are born healthy; are developmentally on track; ready to succeed at the time of school entry; and reading proficiently by third grade.

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