United Way of Northwest Louisiana and Natchitoches Parish Library have teamed up to fight for early childhood literacy. On March 6, Natchitoches Parish Library focused its annual Staff Development Day around team building and a volunteer project, which was coordinated and implemented by United Way of NWLA.

Natchitoches Parish Library employees split into groups to tackle creating 239 literacy kits for all 12 kindergarten classes at L.P. Vaughn Elementary School.

“We call this team building with a purpose because employees aren’t given specific instructions on how to construct the literacy kits,” said Harper McKnight, Community Engagement and Creative Coordinator for United Way of NWLA. This gives teams the opportunity to find their own ways of working together and encourages communication, listening, and patience. After the project, teams got to deliver their kits to the kindergarteners personally. NPL’s impact will last long past today for the students.”

A literacy kit is a set of activities that are designed to allow a student to actively participate and communicate as they complete the lessons in class. The primary purpose is to support and enhance the curriculum with reading, math, and science to provide students with a multi-sensory experience.

This group of literacy kits included the following:

• A hardback book Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
• Activity sheets for reading and writing enhancement
• Fruit graphs to be analyzed for math enhancement

• Lima bean seeds and soil for science enhancement
• Handwritten notes of encouragement