SUCCESS STORY | Corporate Social Responsibility

Intalere Employees Provide Funding and Supplies to Help Promote the Love of Reading to Children through 2015 Literacy Campaign

The Challenge

Learning to read begins long before a child enters school. It begins when parents read to their children, buy their children books and encourage their children to read. Reading is how we discover new things and helps to expand the mind and develop the imagination. Reading is also a vital skill in being able to function in today's society.

It is important to begin literacy development at an early age. In the United States,

  • 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
  • Students who don't read proficiently by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.
  • 53 percent of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20 percent of 8th graders could say the same.
  • Nearly 85% of juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime.

The Solution

For their 2015 charitable campaign theme, Intalere’s Social Responsibility Committee selected “Literacy: Changing Lives Through Learning” as a way to support local literacy programs benefiting the Providence, Pittsburgh and St. Louis communities. By selecting literacy as the campaign theme, Intalere helped promote the aspirations of developing young learners, strengthened families, and helped build long-term personal, health and financial security in the communities they serve.

The campaign was launched in three phases. Phase I kicked off in January 2015, at the Intalere National Meeting. Intalere employees attending the meeting were asked to purchase or donate a book to benefit Ready Readers – a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring preschool age children from low-income communities to love books and to have the emergent literacy skills necessary to become readers when they enter kindergarten. Employees donated approximately 50 books and $500, plus an additional $500 from the Social Responsibility Committee’s budget was used to purchase books and educational materials for this program.

In April 2015, Phase II was implemented involving book drives and fundraisers at each business office to benefit local literacy programs.

Providence office employees collected more than 100 new and used books to benefit the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Read To Me Program. A family's introduction to the Read To Me Program begins in the pediatric clinic waiting area, where a group of hospital volunteers select age- and language-appropriate books to read to children while they wait to see their doctors. At every clinic visit, the doctor gives the child a new book to take home. Over the past year, the program has distributed over 10,000 books to patients.

The Pittsburgh office collected more than 300 children’s books to benefit the Women’s Center of Beaver County, a center that helps women and children escape abusive living situations. Not only were the children able to enjoy the books during their stay at the shelter, they were also given books to take home in the tote bags that the office donated to the center as well.

The St. Louis office partnered with the Little Bit Foundation, a local organization that serves more than 6,000 elementary and middle school students in 20 St. Louis area schools. Ninety to 100 percent of the students in Little Bit schools are at or near the poverty level. The goal of the program is to break down the barriers of poverty on a child's ability to enter the classroom confident and ready to learn. The 100+ volunteers develop strong partnerships with sponsored schools to offer consistent, empowering hope to children in need. Their presence in the schools, working one-on-one with each child, combined with providing necessities such as clothing, shoes, food, wellness checks, eyeglasses and mental health, ensures each child's personal dignity and has the power to change lives.

Intalere employees were challenged to contribute 250 books to this organization during the month of April. A total of 261 books were collected as well as $320 in monetary donations which were used to purchase additional books for the Little Bit Foundation.

In August and September 2015, Phase III of the campaign consisted of a company-wide fundraising initiative, as well as individual business office back-to-school campaigns.

The Providence office stuffed 15 backpacks with school supplies which were donated to students at the Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School. The office ramped up their book drive in order to stuff 50 book bags that were donated and hand delivered to children who were inpatients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital or who attended out-patient clinics at the hospital. $115 was donated by employees during their fundraising campaign – with Intalere’s match, $230 was donated to Hasbro Children’s Hospital Family Life Program.

The Pittsburgh office collected enough school supplies to stuff 50 backpacks which were donated to 4th graders at Holy Family Institute in Pittsburgh. In addition to the backpacks, the office delivered cases of copy paper plus a large box of extra school supplies from employee donations – binders, markers, pens, notebooks, etc. – to be distributed to needy students at the school’s discretion. $110 was collected from employees during the fundraising portion of the campaign – with Intalere’s match, Holy Family Institute received an additional $220 for their back-to-school initiative.

The St. Louis office conducted raffles, lunches, Dress Down Friday sales and other fundraising activities to benefit The Little Bit Foundation. They collected books and school supplies which were used to stuff 35 book bags for needy children serviced by this program. The Foundation also communicated a need for boys underwear as many of the students are low-income and do not have clean clothes to wear to school. The St. Louis office purchased underwear for boys in the program. $655 dollars was donated by employees – with the Intalere match, combined with funds from the company-wide fundraising campaign ($45 in donations with match = $90), $1,400 additional monies was donated to The Little Bit Foundation.

The Outcome

In summary, employees donated 761 books to local literacy programs and raised a total of $1,745 for the fundraising portion of the campaign. Combined with a corporate match from Intalere ($925), a total of $2,670 was donated to local charities in support of literacy programs. In addition, the Social Responsibility Committee budget funded $2,390 to purchase 150 backpacks/book bags, school supplies and clothing which supplemented employee donations to these local charities.