We provide toy-filled birthday gift bags to food shelves and shelters so that parents living in poverty can give their child a birthday gift.

June 20th, 2016 | Volunteers | Join the conversation

The Cheerful Givers Volunteer Blog is our way of letting volunteers share their experiences and express what it means to be a ‘Cheerful Giver’. If you are interested in writing an article for Cheerful Givers email us at robin@cheerfulgivers.org.

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By Nabanita Biswas

Books can be an individual’s best friend. All books carry an important message for their readers. Reading books and discovering these messages help us gain knowledge. Reading is an important habit for everyone to cultivate, but it plays a particularly important role in children’s development.

Education begins long before kids head out for their first day of school. Babies begin gathering learning from day one, and the knowledge they develop at this early stage serves as the basic building blocks for all the learning they do at later stages in their lives.

Education often correlates with high literacy rates; the higher a country’s education rate, the greater its literacy rate as well. Put simply, if we can provide every child in the U.S. the proper education, we can improve our literacy rate.

Parents often want their children to be brilliant and intelligent. This can be achieved only through education, which begins with books at a very early age. Research shows children who read from an early age become more versed with formal school systems. They develop better communication and logical skills, which, in turn, help them concentrate and focus better.

Unfortunately, poverty creeps into the picture and gets in the way of increasing the literacy rates. If we take the initiative of giving free books to children living in poverty, we can contribute to their education and help them acquire basic knowledge and skills. In this way, we can foster the seeds of literacy in them.

In addition, contributing to children’s education through literacy can help improve their self-esteem and their confidence, as well as decrease their chances of getting involved in social violence, crimes and felonies. Ultimately, these steps can lead children to more easily find employment opportunities and lead better lives overall. So by adding to children’s education with books, we can not only increase literacy rates, but also help fight poverty.

Members of the Cheerful Givers community want to help children in need not only celebrate their birthdays, but access educational tools they may not otherwise receive. We put books in 95 percent of our birthday gift bags because we want kids, no matter their background, to have opportunities to learn, develop and grow, ultimately enriching their lives in the long term.

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