PROVIDENCE – GTECH Corp. recently donated $2,500 to the Providence Public School Department to host a Books Are Wings Book Party for hundreds of children at the George J. West Elementary School.
GTECH employees also volunteered their time at the June 6 party to help set up, read to children, and hand out books for them to take home.
Founded in 1998, Books Are Wings is a nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy providing free books to children. At its parties, stories are read and discussed, and free books are given out to promote excitement about reading.
“I cannot thank GTECH enough for their support,” said Director of Books Are Wings Jocelynn White. “More than 850 children were able to take books home with them because of their generous donation. We believe that summer is a critical time for children and reading. Children need fingertip access to books throughout the summer months. Our program is based on a research-studied story time model to increase motivation to read, increase book awareness and provide exposure to reading materials.”
GTECH Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Public Affairs Robert K. Vincent said the company values its investment in children.
“At GTECH, we are firm believers of this sentiment and take an active role in the education of our community,” he said. “It is very rewarding to not only be able to see the growth in these young students through the school year, but the impact that working with these students has had on our own employees.”
GTECH first became involved with the school in 2012 when it became a lead sponsor of Providence Reads. As part of the original sponsorship, more than a dozen volunteers from GTECH have gone into one of the kindergarten classes each week to read to the entire class.
Doris De Los Santos, director of Development & Partnerships for Providence public schools, said the partnership with GTECH means a lot to the community.
“The research is clear that children who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress, and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect,” said De Los Santos. “Through GTECH’s efforts, students at George J. West will be able to have access to books during the summer months, contributing to their readiness for the next school year. Human capital as well as financial resources are equally important and needed in our schools; with GTECH we are getting the support in both fronts.”