Ferst Foundation Donates Books to Health System Locations

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: April 28, 2008 –The Ferst Foundation of Glynn County recently donated 10 sets of children’s books to Southeast Georgia Health System to place in the Dick Mitchell Health Information Center located inside the Outpatient Care Center, as well as the waiting areas of all of the Immediate Care Centers, Family Medicine Centers, Community Care Center, and affiliated physicians’ offices. Each set contains 10 books that are carefully selected by child literacy experts to foster a love of reading in preschoolers.

According to The Ferst Foundation Web site, Robin Ferst of Madison, Georgia, started the non-profit Foundation in 1999, to foster literacy and creativity in pre-kindergarten children after learning that a third of Georgia children come to school unprepared to learn. In addition, approximately 61% of low-income families do not have a single piece of reading material suitable for a child. Replicating Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library project in Morgan County, Georgia, she strives to instill her lifetime love of reading in every child. So far, the program has distributed approximately 600,000 books to more than 35,000 children.

The Glynn Ferst Foundation started in August 2006. According to John Goodrich, community action leader of The Ferst Foundation of Glynn County, the goal is to have the program statewide by 2010. Currently the program is in 53 counties, including Glynn and McIntosh. Parents who reside in Glynn and McIntosh counties can sign up for the program when their child is born. The child then receives one book a month delivered to the home in his or her name from birth through age 5—that is a total of 60 books by the time the child reaches kindergarten age if he or she is enrolled at birth.

The children’s classic, The Little Engine That Could, is the first book of each child receives and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten is the final “graduation” book that is received when the child turns five. Additionally, each enrolled child receives a “Ferst” library card, a Parent’s Guide with tips for the parents on how to read aloud with their child, and a coupon for a distinctive adjustable bookcase with locomotive and caboose bookends.

However, if the parents move, they must contact the Foundation to continue to receive the books, Goodrich says. “The Post Office will not forward the books, so we have to be notified in order for families to continue to get the books when they move,” he says. Parents can do this by calling either 912-265-0066 or 912-638-7435 or by visiting www.ferstfoundation.org. Goodrich adds that the organization also accepts donations. “It cost $36 per year, per child,” he says. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1471, Brunswick, GA 31521. For more information about the program, visit www.ferstfoundation.org.