Consumers Energy Foundation provides $50,000 grant to PoWeR! Book Bags to support literacy efforts
The Consumers Energy Foundation has provided a $50,000 gift to PoWeR! Book Bags to help support PoWeR! Book Bags Little Learners Program, ensuring language and literacy materials are available to low income families with children ages 0-5 across 20 counties in northern Michigan.
PoWeR! Book Bags is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help children increase experiences with language, literacy, and human interactions through playing, writing, and reading. Guided by relevant research, PoWeR! Book Bags offers families and children an on-going supply of play and print materials to have at home. The program invites children to select new books to keep, along with book bags filled with age appropriate materials that support children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. When children PLAY and WRITE and READ, they engage in crucial behaviors and practice skills necessary to build strong language and literacy abilities that will better equip them for life!
“Consumers Energy and our foundation have been serving Michiganders for decades, and we are grateful to be able to support this next generation of Michiganders by providing this funding to PoWeR! Book Bags,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We all know how important literacy is in a child’s first few years. PoWeR! Book Bags and its team of volunteers are doing wonderful work by providing thousands of books to children across Northern Michigan, and the Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to support their efforts.”
“PoWeR! Book Bags’ goal – to increase opportunities for language and literacy development to give children a better life – is a great fit with the Consumers Energy Foundation’s goal to improve the lives of those families in Michigan who are working but simply cannot make financial ends meet,” PoWeR! Book Bags’ executive director Kara Gregory said. “The Foundation has done an incredible job identifying the challenges of the ALICE population – those households that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed in Michigan. PoWeR! Book Bags works across 20 northern Michigan counties, each with a significant ALICE population.”
PoWeR! Book Bags collaborates with agencies including public health departments (WIC, MIHP, and Immunization Clinics), local food pantries, community sites of assistance, Early Head Start, and schools. PoWeR! Book Bags estimates it will distribute upwards of 100,000 books and 10,000 book bags filled with literacy materials to early learners and their families in 2022.
“The Foundation has identified early childhood education as a key element in building stronger communities. PoWeR! Book Bags provides opportunities for language and literacy development so our children are better prepared as they enter school and, as adults, have the opportunity for a better quality of life and the opportunity to participate positively in the entire community,” Gregory continued. “We are so grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for this opportunity to continue our work on behalf of northern Michigan families.” To learn more about the ALICE report, visit www.unitedforalice.org and for more information about PoWeR! Book Bags, visit www.powerbookbags.com or call 231-343-0255.
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet, and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.