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Randolph Partnership for Children hands out more than 6,100 children’s books during holiday parades

ASHEBORO — Randolph Partnership for Children (RPC) staff members, along with 68 volunteers, distributed new children’s books in seven holiday parades this month. 


In total, children along the parade routes received 6,107 books, which is the most books given out since the inception of the Gift of Reading program, an annual initiative by RPC to get more books into the hands of children. 


Preparations for this initiative began in October when the Kiwanis Club of Asheboro donated $2,500 to help with book purchasing and parade preparation for the Asheboro Parade. In November, the Randolph Early College Beta Club (RECBC) and members of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd volunteered to prepare the books for the parades. 


Beginning on Thursday, Dec. 1, RPC staff and volunteers from the Randolph Early College Beta Club walked along the parade route in Randleman, handing out 951 new books to children five and under. 


On Dec. 2, RPC staff walked alongside volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Asheboro, the Asheboro High School Key Club, RECBC and others in the Asheboro Christmas parade. Families from the Kids of Hope child care center rode the RPC float, sharing their holiday cheer with the crowd. Families at the parade received a total of 3,030 books. 


Despite the uncooperative weather, the parades on Saturday, Dec. 3, went on as planned. At the Franklinville parade, RPC staff and RECBC volunteers distributed 130 books to the families that braved the rain. At the Liberty parade, RPC staff and volunteers distributed 634 books. RPC staff and RECBC students handed out 136 books at the Ramseur. In Seagrove, RPC staff and volunteers provided 152 books for families at the parade. 


On Dec. 4, staff and volunteers walked the Archdale Christmas Parade route to distribute another 1,074 books. 


“We are grateful to everyone who helped with the Partnership’s Gift of Reading Initiative,” RPC Executive Director Lisa Hayworth said. “We celebrate those who help us champion early literacy.”


Research shows that early literacy experiences are an important part of young children’s development. According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 90% of a child’s brain development happens in the first five years of life, and when children are read to during that time, it helps build brain connections. The Partnership endeavors to support a love of reading in young children by providing a new book for them to read and encouraging the bonding experience of reading with an important adult in their life.