West Texas Food Bank and Education Partnership of the Permian Basin tackling childhood literacy

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ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/ Fox 24) – It’ll be the first year The West Texas Food Bank partners with the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin to enhance the reading level of children, and they’re doing this by handing out what they call power bags.

Craig Stoker, communications director of West Texas Food Bank, says the name “POWER” stands for the power of words and early reading.

“An initiative to really bring the community get together and rally around its newest citizens,” Stoker says. “We want to make sure they’re going to succeed.”

The power of reading comes with more language development.

The West Texas Food Bank and the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin want to tackle literacy in the community.

ECISD reports 57% of Kindergartners who attended Pre-k are not Kindergarten ready, and 65% of those who did not participate in Pre-k isn’t Kindergarten ready.

“That’s a huge impact on our community that’s a huge impact on the school system,” Adrian Vega, executive director of Education Partnership of the Permian Basin, says. “If they’re already six and a half out of ten already starting behind, then that makes the work of the school district much more difficult.”

So these organizations want to aim for better early childhood reading, starting with the newly born.

“Our initiative to start from birth, so this is an effort which we’re partnering with both hospitals,” Vega says. “Beginning January 1, every single child born in Ector County is going to be provided with a power bag that really has information to talk about brain development, language development, and really beginning literally from birth.”

The 5000 power bags will be a new way of increasing the early childhood reading level in Ector County.

The power bags will be put together Tuesday, December 17, at the West Texas Food Bank from 6- 9p.m.

To find out more about the project click link below: https://www.educatepb.com/power-bags

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