Three community agencies that serve local, low-income households in Baltimore received 4,700 books Wednesday in a donation from The Molina Foundation as part of the Books Across Baltimore program.
Colorful children’s story and activity books, featuring fun themes and characters, were distributed over the past week to Catholic Charities Head Start of Baltimore City, Baltimore County Public Library and Hawthorne Judy Center in Middle River. The books cover a range of grades and age levels.
Catholic Charities, the largest private provider of social services in Maryland, received 1,700 books while the Public Library and the Judy Center were given 2,400 and 600 books, respectively. Each of the agencies will distribute the books in the coming weeks to the children and families they serve. The books have a total estimated value of $37,000.
The giveaway was organized by The Molina Foundation of Long Beach, California in partnership with Molina Medicaid Solutions, the corporate sponsor of the campaign. The campaign is part of a literacy initiative taking place this summer in select regions of the country. Designed to promote back-to-school learning, the initiative is timed to help combat the “summer slide” where students lose academic ground over the break. Students can drop an average of two to three months in reading and math skills, a loss that can significantly impact their future academic and economic success.
Foundation officials said the book giveaways can be an effective way to reinforce storytelling at home and create opportunities to build home libraries.
After the delivery to the Catholic Charities of Baltimore’s Head Start program in Cherry Hill, five volunteers from Molina Medicaid Solutions came to the site to assist in sorting, labeling and bundling the books for giveaway. Plans call for Catholic Charities to distribute the books to its 15 Head Start preschool sites around the city.
Molina Medicaid Solutions is a subsidiary of California-based Molina Healthcare, Inc., a major corporate supporter of The Molina Foundation. MMS provides health information management and business process outsourcing solutions for state Medicaid programs.
The Molina Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of reducing disparities in access to education and health. Since its inception in 2004, it has partnered with more than 2,000 organizations and schools around the country to promote literacy and wellness. In addition, it has donated more than 5 million new children’s books in English and Spanish, and hosted hundreds of free workshops and programs for educators, families and children.