Pontiac-based Grace Centers of Hope donated recently 3,400 new books to Utica Community Schools’ Great Start Readiness Pre-school Program.
The book, Tommy Starts Something Big, was written by WDIV-TV personality Chuck Gaidica. It’s a children’s story about a boy who faces his own challenges by inspiring others in their time of need.
The Great Start program is a state-funded, free pre-school program for qualified 4-year-old children. Each child in the program will receive a copy of the book and participate in art and reading projections in recognition of March as National Reading Month.
“A strong foundation in reading is critical to student success in Utica Community Schools,” said Christine Johns, Utica superintendent. “The donation from Grace Centers of Hope will support the work of our schools to develop a lifelong love of reading in our students.”
National Reading Month promotes literacy-related activities that encourage children to become active readers. It is a time when schools, libraries, museums, youth organizations and other groups across the U.S. will focus on the importance of reading.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to donate these wonderful books to Utica Community Schools and students enrolled in the Great Start Readiness Preschool Program,” said Pastor Kent Clark, CEO of Grace Centers of Hope. “The foundation of Gaidica’s book is to encourage children to recognize the importance of helping others, which has been a guiding principle at Grace Centers of Hope since our inception. We are proud to share this message with local students while also adding to the enrichment of their education.”
Grace Centers of Hope is considered one of the leading faith-based organizations in Southeastern Michigan, daily confronting issues of homelessness, addiction, poverty, abuse and spiritual emptiness.
On any given night, Grace Centers of Hope provides transitional and emergency shelter to 150-200 men, women and children, in addition to serving more than 100,000 meals each year. Grace’s $5.7 million yearly budget is maintained solely through corporate and private donors, exclusive of any government assistance.
To learn more about Grace Centers of Hope or to make a donation, please visit www.gracecentersofhope.org.
This story originally appeared in the Macomb Daily.