Carrs/Safeway encourages employees to read with their kids
Carrs/Safeway is encouraging Alaska parents to read with their children by distributing “ABC Read and Talk With Me Anchorage” book bags to its employees. The book bags, a project spearheaded by Anchorage’s First Lady Deborah Bonito with funding from BP, were designed to help parents and care givers engage young children in early learning activities.
Carrs/Safeway held presentations about the value of early learning and distributed 200 book bags to its employees in Anchorage and the Mat-Su stores in May 2008. The book bags and presentations are a way for the company to promote early learning by providing simple learning activities for parents to do at home with their children. The book bags consist of Shannon Cartwright’s Alaska ABC Book, a magnetic picture frame, and information on the importance of early literacy and learning.
Steve Brezenski, Carrs/Safeway Regional Human Resource Manager, learned of the book bag project through serving with Bonito on the Best Beginnings Early Learning Council. Brezenski is enthusiastic about bringing early learning information to Carrs/Safeway’s Alaska employees.
“They are good parents who love and care for their kids,” Brezenski said. “The more they know and understand about reading, the more they’ll do it.”
While the first effort was limited to Anchorage and surrounding areas, Brezenski said Carrs/Safeway plans to expand the program to employees statewide. Within the next year, book bags will be distributed in Carrs/Safeway stores across Alaska including locations in Dutch Harbor, Nome, and Valdez.
Brezenski, a parent of six, knows just how helpful information on early learning can be.
“I’ve always read to the kids but never knew why it was so important.” Brezenski said, “When I learned what a difference it makes, I doubled my efforts.”
PLEASE NOTE: The “ABC Read and Talk With Me Anchorage” book bag project was a collaborative effort by Best Beginnings, the Municipality of Anchorage, thread, Anchorage Public Library, Child Care Assistance, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Although it no longer exists as a separate organization, many of the same volunteers are now working on the Anchorage Imagination Library, still providing books to Anchorage’s children.