NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- During the holiday season, sometimes you just need to know that someone cares.
That's the message being delivered to children in need nationwide this holiday season by employees of KPMG LLP, the professional services firm, who are distributing thousands of literacy packages, including 66,000 books, to children to support language and literacy development. This year's holiday giving program, titled "Operation Seasons gREADINGs," is a continuation of the ongoing book giving program through KPMG's Family for Literacy initiative, which began three years ago, and through its support of the literacy non-profit organization First Book has provided more than 1,400,000 books to date.
"There's no greater joy than seeing a child smile with delight when he or she opens their very own book for the first time," said KPMG LLP Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer. "We understand the impact books can have on young lives and that's why youth and education are a primary focus of the firm's community and corporate citizenship efforts. I am extremely proud of the entire extended KPMG family whose continued efforts are making an impact on the literacy crisis in the United States."
KPMG Deputy Chairman and COO, Henry Keizer, added, "Linking our holiday giving this year to our literacy outreach program was the perfect gift and something in which all of our professionals can take pride. Our Family for Literacy initiative gives the entire KPMG family an opportunity to act together to put brand new books into the hands of children who, otherwise, would not have books of their own."
Jeffrey Catania, PhD, Senior VP Development, Children's Institute, said that the Children's Institute, which promotes the well being of vulnerable children and helps families provide safe, nurturing homes, "relies on the generosity and thoughtfulness of responsible and caring outside organizations to serve the needs of the most vulnerable among us – the children.
"The literacy bags KPMG provided to our children represent the most precious gift one can give -- time and an expression of caring. Sometimes that is all we need -- to know that someone cares," Catania said. Youngsters at the Children's Institute in Los Angeles were recently presented with 400 literacy packages that included three books (for children ages 4-8), as well as items such as pencils, erasers, notebooks and bookmarks. The literacy packages were delivered by local employees of KPMG.
Some of the other non-profit organizations receiving KPMG literacy packages during the holidays include Sacred Heart School of Jersey City, P.S. 161 in New York City, Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Chicago Public Schools, Star of Hope in Houston, The Children's Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, and Educational Enrichment Systems in San Diego.
Through KPMG's Family for Literacy initiative, in tandem with First Book, the KPMG community of spouses and family, partners and employees, interns, retirees and alumni fund the purchase of books, conduct reading programs in schools, and work with existing literacy programs to provide brand new books, provided by First Book, to disadvantaged children in local communities across the country.
"The KPMG community is instrumental in helping us bring new books to under-resourced schools and programs nationwide," said Kyle Zimmer, First Book's president and co-founder. "The people of KPMG are making a real difference in the lives of children."
According to First Book, the majority of children from low-income families have no books in their homes or classrooms, and direct access to new, high-quality books and educational resources is extremely limited. These children have far fewer literacy and language experiences at home and enter school at a disadvantage. A recent study found that on average, there is just one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods compared with 13 books for every child in middle-income neighborhoods.
About KPMG LLP
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.us.kpmg.com), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International.") KPMG International's member firms have 140,000 professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 146 countries.
About First Book
First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 80 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities. First Book has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information please visit www.firstbook.org or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
D. Primiano/L. Sheridan Powers
SOURCE KPMG LLP