All Ages Read Together (AART) kicked off the 2019 AART Read-A-Thon at Cascades Library on Thursday, February 14 with Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, Supervisor Suzanne Volpe, and Supervisor Koran Saines as well as Loudoun County Library Director Chang Liu. Area leaders read to children who attend the Cascades Library AART class.
The Read-A-Thon is designed to raise funds for AART, which is dedicated to preparing young children for success in school by teaching them the skills they will need in kindergarten and beyond while cultivating an early love of reading and learning. AART fills the gap in the community by providing these classes to children who do not qualify for publicly funded programs yet come from low-income working families. There were 874 children who began kindergarten this school year in Loudoun County without any preschool experience. These children are approximately 20 months behind their peers. In our region, a family of four that earns $70,000 or less qualifies for affordable housing yet they do not all qualify for publicly funded preschool. AART has served hundreds of children in Loudoun and Fairfax counties since its inception in 2007.
Chair Phyllis Randall spearheaded a book drive with 50 faith leaders to coincide with the Read-A-Thon to collect books and monetary donations for AART classes. AART Executive Director, Michelle Sullivan said, “AART appreciates this outpouring of support and is so grateful for the impact it will directly have on the children.”