Fern Creek Kiwanis Reading Oasis Grand Opening
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.

Today, we opened this exciting new Oasis of reading! The students and their families at Fern Creek will truly enjoy their new Reading Oasis which will feature 1,200 books, furniture and comfy bean bag chairs. We successfully transformed an old, cluttered room and made it warm and inviting so parents and their children will feel comfortable visiting the Oasis and participating in workshops and mentoring throughout the year.

We had a pretty substantial rain storm which hindered our family attendance a bit but we were treated with a beautiful rainbow which happened to be situated directly over the Reading Oasis. I guess this pot of gold will be filled with books for all to enjoy.

These pictures are from the grand opening which also included a Scholastic Read and Rise Parent Workshop, a Family Build-a-Book activity and a Scholastic Book Fair. Scholastic also provided every student at Fern Creek with a Reading Certificate allowing them the opportunity to select any book off of the book fair to call their own.

Thanks to all of the Kiwanis and Key Club volunteers and Scholastic employees who assisted in painting, assembling furniture, sorting books and reading to kids at the opening.

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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