Published On: Fri, Sep 27th, 2019

Books and Backpack Donation Program Jump Starts School Year, Celebrates 20 Years of The Anne & Sam Klein Literacy Program

Ira Gerstein- Federation Board Chair; Henry Steinbock- Jewish Volunteer Center committee member and Family Promise board member; Taylor Materio- Executive Director of Family Promise of North/Central Palm Beach County, and Michael Hoffman- President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County

Achievement made possible through the generosity of community members and commitment of volunteers

Boca Raton, FL – For a remarkable 20 years, volunteers through the Anne & Sam Klein Literacy Program, an initiative of Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, have been visiting local elementary schools to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to students from primarily lower socio-economic backgrounds as well as donating books, school supplies and other literacy resources to help them improve their reading skills. Focused on Title I public elementary schools in Palm Beach County, over the past two decades the program is responsible for training 600 volunteers in 30 public elementary schools and reached more than 3,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Two successful elements include “Reading Express”, a new initiative implemented in the 2018-2019 school year, where groups of volunteers provide new books to children at local schools, synagogues, businesses and community groups. This effort is partially made possible by the Alloy Family Foundation.

The second initiative, “Reading Together”, established 20 years ago in public schools, trains volunteers on best practices to engage children in reading proficiency. Volunteers then provide one-on-one tutoring to an assigned student who also receives books to add to their home library.

“The Anne and Sam Klein Literacy Program has accomplished so much in its 20 years and has undoubtedly created a love of reading and learning for thousands of local children,” said Michael Hoffman, president and CEO of Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. “We are proud to stand alongside this transformative educational initiative to ensure all students have the confidence and resources they need to have a successful school year and future.”

In addition to books, the program also works with partner organizations to provide vital school supplies for children. For the third year, the Brooke Jackman Foundation has partnered with the Anne & Sam Klein Literacy Program and Federation’s Jewish Volunteer Center to provide 250 backpacks – known as Brooke Packs – filled with school supplies and age-appropriate reading materials. This year the following organizations are recipients of Brooke Packs: Family Promise of North/Central Palm Beach County, Florence De George Boys & Girls Club in West Palm Beach and Pioneer Park Elementary School in Belle Glade.

“Twenty years of providing the gift of literacy to children is an honor and would not have been possible without the generosity of thousands of community members. As proud as we are, there is still much work to be done to improve the literacy of children in Palm Beach County.” shared Alana Weinstein, program coordinator at the Jewish Volunteer Center of Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.  “We’re committed to doing the work and have established a goal to engage 300 new volunteers and provide more than 5,000 books to children attending predominantly lower income schools this year.”

For more information about Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, including its impact and how you can support, visit

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Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County works to transform, inspire and save lives in the Palm Beaches, Israel and 70 countries around the world.

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