Fern Creek Kiwanis Reading Oasis Before
Scholastic partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Greater Orlando-Winter Park to compete in a statewide Kiwanis Facebook competition. Kiwanis clubs from across the state of Florida were challenged to identify a local elementary school in need. Once the school was identified, they worked with the school to create a Facebook page to describe how the school could use a Scholastic/Kiwanis Family Reading Oasis to promote reading and family engagement.

The top two clubs/schools that earned the most Facebook "Likes" would win a Reading Oasis which was generously donated by the Florida Kiwanis Foundation and the Kiwanis Florida District Governor Matthew Cantrall.

Our Kiwanis Club won the Reading Oasis by generating over 5,200 likes to our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/FernCreekReadingOasis

Our recipient school, Fern Creek Elementary School is located in the Colonial Town area near downtown Orlando. While they have an amazing principal and staff, they face enormous challenges. 95% of their students are on the free lunch program and as many as 25% of their families are homeless at any given time throughout the year.

The students and their families of Fern Creek will truly enjoy their new Reading Oasis which will feature 1,200 books, furniture and comfy bean bag chairs. But first, we have to take an old room and make it warm and inviting so parents and their children will feel comfortable visiting the Oasis and participating in workshops and mentoring throughout the year.

These pictures are from the early stages of the transformation. Thanks to all of the volunteers who assisted in painting, assembling furniture and sorting books.

I have the unique privilege to be a proud member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Orlando-Winter Park AND also work for Scholastic in helping open Family and Community Reading Oases across the country. This will be a special place for me and I will look forward to visiting often to share the love of reading with the children at Fern Creek Elementary School.
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