At our recent “Book Walk” event, our staff and volunteers got many students to read books and focus on their futures.

The Jan. 10th event was aimed at encouraging students from Palm Springs Elementary School to attend school regularly. The school, on Davis Road in Lake Worth, is where many of the young children in our community attend.

Our organizers distributed more than 30 free backpacks stuffed with books, snacks and other items to children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. They also visited six homes and talked to parents to see how their children were doing in school. Volunteers also discussed the flu and other ailments with the parents and encouraged them to give their children flu shots and take other precautions to prevent them from getting sick.

“It’s vital that children attend school every day,” said Rhonda Rogers, executive director of Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group. “And so, we worked with our partners to establish the ‘Book Walk’ event so we could really educate our families about the importance of school attendance.”

The event was organized by Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group’s Early Childhood Leadership Collaborative which focuses on preparing students for kindergarten, getting them to attend school regularly, and making sure they are safe. The “Book Walk” was made possible by the support of our funders, including Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and United Way of Palm Beach County.

“We had a lot of families interested in getting this backpack and talking to our staff and volunteers, so for us, this was a successful event that we hope to do next year and get even more families to participate,” Rogers said.