By India Pilgrim

One of Reinhardt’s Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences faculty is doing more than educating future healthcare providers.

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Kimberly Parker and her husband, Chris.

Kimberly Parker, assistant professor of nursing, is helping childhood literacy in the Pickens County Ferst Readers Annual Jail n’ Bail Fundraiser.

Parker and her husband are both participating in the program to support Ferst Readers of Pickens County, which sends books to children enrolled in the program from birth to age 5.  The goal of the foundation is to provide children with books at home each month to help develop literacy skills in the early developmental stages of their lives.

“It is a pleasure to recognize Reinhardt as one of the partners for the Pickens County Jail n’ Bail fundraising event,” said Debbie Ross, regional program coordinator of Ferst Readers. “Pickens County does a great job in providing Ferst Readers books and parental resources to children in their homes.

Ross feels the program is especially a great tool for families living under Shelter in Place ordinances.

“It provides them the opportunity to read with their children in the home and to use the activities provided in the newsletter to enhance relationships with their children. This is also an opportunity to have all the children in the home involved. As summer approaches, they will continue to receive books on a continuing basis, allowing them to grow in reading abilities.”

This foundation is something Parker and her family see the benefits of firsthand, making it near and dear to Parker’s heart.

“Ferst Readers is dear to my heart for many reasons,” said Parker. “Personally, both of my daughters have benefitted from the monthly book packages. I see the excitement each time we get a new book in the mail and the eagerness to read new material every month. I strongly believe that all children, birth to five years old, should have access to free books in the mail addressed to them.”

Community members are selected to represent their respective organizations while partaking in this community service project. Parker, who is representing Reinhardt in the fundraiser, is actively setting the example for her students by showing them the value of service learning.

“As humans, we are social beings - we need each other. In our society, it is easy to get consumed with our own lives, but community service provides a way to connect to others and serve the greater good. Very often, being a part of a program that serves the needs of others, helps us to acquire skills and knowledge, in addition to providing a positive impact on society.”

She hopes that by her example, others will be inspired to get involved.

“Ferst Readers is something that I am passionate about, so it is an honor for me to give back to this organization. I encourage others to find a way to share their passions and find a way to serve their own community in a way that is meaningful to themselves and others.”

To help Parker make “bail,” click here to donate. All donations must be made by April 27 and will be used locally to support Ferst Readers in Pickens County.