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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Clarity Coverdale Fury Spreads the Gift of Literacy

In an effort to ensure that all children succeed, Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) is donating their newly created and self-published children’s book, The Story of Tré and Squire, over 250 other books and bookshelves to help build a library for the Learning in Style School, a non-profit that empowers adult immigrants through education.

Rebecca Makayi, coordinator of the Children's Room at Learning in Style said, “We realized that when we had story time for the kids, those kids who had been read to at home paid closer attention. Also, the parents’ reading and comprehension dramatically improved, so we started to lend out the very few books we had to adult students to read to their kids. We need more books.”

 

(Pictures from Learning in Style and of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire)
 
The library will offer a needed resource for immigrant parents and their kids to learn how to read. Combined with additional donations in CCF’s client markets throughout the country, over 500 books will be distributed to low-income children.

Rob Rankin, CCF’s President and CEO, was inspired by a speech at the 2016 Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Conference by George Halvorson, former CEO of HealthPartners and Kaiser Permanente.

“In his (Halvorson’s) keynote speech, he shared a fact that startled me,” Rankin said. “Because the brain of a child is still developing when born, if the brain is not properly stimulated within the first three years of a child’s life, there are parts that will literally never develop. Never. Yet the solution is very simple: Reading, singing and talking to children as soon as they are born and throughout these formative years can pay dividends for their entire lives.”

There are disparities in reading skills linked to both economic status and race. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s policy report, “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success” notes investing in the first eight years is critical for children to succeed, both in school and in life. Children who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are likely to feel alienated from school, and the consequences stretch well into adulthood. Thus it’s of concern that:
  • 82 percent of low income fourth graders are not reading proficiently
  • Children of color, those with disabilities and dual-language learners have challenges. More than 80 percent of black, Hispanic and American Indian children are not proficient readers by the end of third grade.
The National Education Association shows that children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school. They are more likely to:
  • Count to 20 or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
  • Write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
  • Read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
Rankin’s inspiration led the CCF team to create the book, The Story of Tré and Squire, a holiday tale about an albino squirrel named Squire that goes on a quest to find his friend Tré, a giant pine that has been cut down and moved to New York City to be the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The book was written by Steve Barone (Creative/Video Editor), and illustrated by Jac Coverdale (V.P. Executive Creative Director) and Megan Lokensgard (Brand Development intern).
 
 
(Picture of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire)

“Giving back to the community has been a core principle of CCF’s since our inception 37 years ago,” said Rankin. “And supporting the educational development of children can really impact individuals’ lives and a community’s future.”

The focus of CCF’s pro-bono and charitable efforts center on helping children. Each year CCF donates time to non-profit organizations such the Ann Bancroft Foundation, The Boy Scouts Of America Northern Star Council and the YWCA of Minneapolis. CCF has consistently been recognized by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for giving at least 5 percent per year of pre-tax