Thanks to the volunteer service of Project READ's incarcerated learners and tutors in the Choices Program at the San Mateo County jails, we have been able to expand our collaborative partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Each week we distribute three to four bags of groceries to upwards of 70 Project READ families in Redwood City. Each family also receives a Family Literacy Activity Bag with free books, school supplies and art materials to engage families in art and literacy at home.
The participants of the Choices Program designed reusable tote bag for our families, making their Family Literacy Activity Bags a little more customized today. Children will be able to use these beautiful tote bags to store library books, supplies and tutoring materials. Families will also receive origami made by men and women in Choices, tying into our weekly craft and STEAM activities included in our weekly Family Literacy Activity Bags. This is just the newest iteration of an ongoing collaboration that began as a community service project by a Peacemakers’ Alliance cohort in October 2017. Peacemakers’ Alliance is a critical literacy and peace education program. Since then, Choices men and women have volunteered for over 40,000 hours, collectively, decorating tote bags and t-shirts that are donated to Project READ and given out to families at our Annual BBQ and our December Story Hour, respectively. We are thrilled to be able to continue this collaboration this year, despite the pandemic, and are that much more grateful for this partnership. The dedication and desire of Choices men and women to continue to give back to the community in these times is inspirational. These bags and origami pieces will surely brighten the days and hearts of children and families in our community.