If anyone understands the importance of sharing a book with a child it’s KinderCare teachers and staff. That’s why the Racine, Wisconsin, KinderCare team – led by center director Michelle Beauchamp and assistant director Mary Avila – participated in the annual Cops-n-Kids book giveaway event in December. District manager Ann Zogg shares her own account of the experience below.
I started my vacation this morning by working a community in event in Racine with our KinderCare team. It was such a special experience and privilege, I had to share.
KinderCare Racine was invited to attend the annual Cops-n-Kids book giveaway event [in December]. We were the only child care provider invited; the Cops-n-Kids founder, Julia Witherspoon, a former police officer in Racine, visited our center in September and read to our students. It was through that experience that she learned what KinderCare was all about and realized that our mission is very closely aligned with her organization.
December’s annual book giveaway was held in a large festival hall and it attracts thousands! It is estimated they gave away about 12,000 books! Truly amazing. Just watching the families from our under-privileged neighborhoods go shopping for books with their children and grandchildren, who in some cases have never owned a single book, was a humbling moment for me. Team Racine KinderCare presented a gift for Julia Witherspoon recognizing her contributions to our community: a framed and matted photo (with children’s handprints) of her reading to a group of children at KinderCare. Julia was in tears when she received this and could not stop hugging everyone!
As I worked this event this morning, I felt I had been given a “George Bailey” moment: to see the impact one woman with a dream has had on so many people just blew me away. I cannot imagine Racine or the world without Julia Witherspoon. To have been lucky enough to be invited to support this event was something I will treasure.
Many thanks to the amazing team at our Racine KinderCare for giving their time on a Saturday (and Friday night) to support this cause—you inspire me!