Over 2,300 Children Reached through Little Readers Program
GDC partners with HeartBound Ministries to fight childhood illiteracy
FORSYTH, Ga. – On February 2, 2014, Georgia State Prison participated in the first Little Readers DVD Recording Session, a program, in partnership with HeartBound Ministries, that sends recordings of incarcerated individuals reading children's book to their loved ones. Since then, the program has spread to GDC facilities across the state (including Emanuel and Whitworth Women’s Facilities, Lee Arrendale, Valdosta, and Ware State Prisons, and Metro Transitional Center) and reached over 2,300 children.
“The Little Readers Program allows children and their incarcerated loved one to engage in something positive and life-changing,” said Commissioner Bryson. “It is my hope that this dynamic program will spread to every Georgia prison.”
The Little Readers Program allows children to see and hear their parent or grandparent reading to them via DVD. The read-aloud DVDs help children feel more secure in the relationship with their loved one.
The program also encourages children to engage in reading which helps to fights childhood illiteracy. Approximately 72,000 Georgia children have a parent in prison, and Georgia ranks at the bottom in overall literacy rates.
The package sent to the children includes the DVD recording, a copy of the book, a personalized bookmark, a New Testament Bible, a return post card, literacy resources, information for a children's correspondence bible study, and healthy nutritional tips.
HeartBound also offers a Little Readers Book Club. The book club provides children's books in prison visitation rooms so that children and their parents can bond and read together during visitation. Children who read 10 or more books during visitation are given a postcard to send to HeartBound. In return, the ministry sends them a free prize.
For more information on HeartBound Ministries and the Little Readers Program visit: http://bit.ly/28Kit0e
The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.
For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit gdc.ga.gov.