COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Brewer Elementary School in Columbus has about 500 students, according to its principal, Patricia Woodall. Each of them received four new free books last Friday thanks to a collaborative project between the insurance company Aflac Inc. and the KPMG Family for Literacy (KFFL) program of the audit, tax and consulting firm KPMG . Aflac and KPMG raised and donated $15,300 to purchase the books.
“There were probably 10 to 15 different titles per grade level,” Woodall said. “And we chose fiction and non-fiction books because our kids like both on topics they like to read.”
After choosing their books at the book fair, the students enjoyed an interactive reading session with KFFL volunteers.
“I still have some money left, and we’ll have another event this year, maybe around Christmas, to get more books into their hands,” Woodall said.
Books weren’t the only things the students received. Woodall said Aflac donated wallets to Brewer Elementary teachers and students received plush Aflac ducks, pencils and erasers from the company. KPMG provided backpacks to hold these and the books.
Woodall said five years ago, an Aflac employee named Lisa Dente asked Woodall if she could donate used books to Brewer Elementary.
“So it’s something that started very small,” Woodall said. “And every year, her and her accounting department, they gave books to Brewer every year, so I was able to [send home] a lightly used book or a new one with each child each year at Christmas, then at the end of the year for the summer. And then she took it to a whole new level and partnered with their accounting firm.
Woodall said Dente is very passionate about literacy and appreciates Dente’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of students at Brewer Elementary. She said KPMG and Aflac would donate more money in the future to put books on the shelves at Brewer Elementary’s library.
Aflac’s chief accounting officer, June Howard, said in an email that Aflac was happy to help with the project.
“We were thrilled to partner with KPMG and Brewer Elementary to bring the wonderful gift of reading to children who otherwise might not have access to the books they need to grow and learn within. and outside the classroom,” Howard said. “Seeing their faces light up warmed the hearts of all Aflac employees who volunteered and all of our team members who helped raise over $13,300 to help make this day a reality. . It’s our way of extending Aflac’s culture of giving back and truly making a difference.
KPMG explains on its website that KFFL is a fund of the KPMG US Foundation. It aims to fight childhood illiteracy by donating books and educational resources to children in need and to train future leaders through reading.
“KPMG volunteers work with KFFL as part of its collaboration with the award-winning non-profit social enterprise, First Book,” the website says. “KFFL has provided nearly 6 million new books to children in low-income communities since its inception in 2008.”