The summer is here and while children are looking to have fun, relax and generally avoid responsibilities for two months or more, parents know that this summer needs to be different. With COVID-19 serving as a booster for the already problematic “Summer Slide,” parents and caregivers need to make sure their children continue learning ahead of a full return to schools in the fall. And while a return to normal is getting closer and closer, there is still a need to maintain many of the protocols that have helped our community beat back the spread of the virus.
Helping our children keep learning and keeping them as safe as possible were the motivations for a June Book and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) drive-thru distribution event held at The Trust’s headquarters. More than 30 Trust employees spent 5 hours handing out close to 16,000 books and up to 1 million items of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.
The books were given to K-5 Trust providers to distribute to summer campers so they can participate in the Battle of the Books on July 22. The event, hosted by The Trust and Miami-Dade Grade Level Reading Campaign focuses on elevating literacy through more than a month of activities culminating in the competition to crown the ultimate Book Battle Warrior.
“We are feeling so blessed and lucky that (The Trust) is taking care of us this way. I had no idea that my whole car was going to be full of stuff,” said Amy Rubinson, a care coordination manager for Educate Tomorrow, a Trust-funded provider that participated in the drive-thru.
Trust President and CEO James Haj helped load books and PPE during the event and said that the effort was well worth it. “It’s a great day for Miami. School is out and kids for the first time in a year and a half are gearing up for summer camps (and) getting out of the house, but parents want to make sure it’s done in a safe manner. We have all the masks being distributed and tons of books being distributed. We must do everything we can to keep our children learning, safe and healthy.”
The Trust’s purchased over 900,000 units of PPE through its health partner Community Health of South Florida (CHI) with XPI Corp. and 613 MED donating over 140,000 more masks and gloves to be given out.