There’s nothing better than curling up with a blanket and a good book. The Jefferson-Edison Elementary School, kindergarteners found this out in a very fun way.
Rows of plastics bags, each filled with a colorful fleece blanket and a book, sat in front of the stage in the school’s small auditorium, ready for the kids to take home, courtesy of the From Cover to Cover Project.
The project aims to promote literacy among at-risk and low-income students in the Quad-Cities.
The children waited patiently in line to get their gift from project co-founders Gina Schlicksup and Christina Kitchen.
Some of the handmade fleece-tie blankets had a feminine touch with bright pink and purple colors, while the boys’ blankets featured sports, patriotic and even space-themed designs.
As they walked through the line, some children excitedly exclaimed, “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” while others pointed to a specific bag they wanted.
The women couldn’t help getting a little misty-eyed Friday as they watched the kids get more and more excited.
“I was trying to take a picture in my head to remember this,” Schlicksup said.
From Cover to Cover was launched in February and is the combination of separate service projects each woman started with their kids at home.
Kitchen made blankets with her 3- and 6-year-old children for people in need, while Schlicksup and her family raised funds to donate books to classrooms that did not have sufficient libraries.
Reading is something important to both of their families.
“I think it’s really important to get books into the hands of kids, and I know that not all kids are that fortunate,” Schlicksup said.
The two women also wanted the kids to have something they can cuddle up with and read at home.
“When you consider that there might be children in the world not getting a visit from Santa this year or not having something to call their own, I want to be able to give these little angels something they can call their own,” Kitchen said.
It’s not the first time the life-long friends have teamed up.
Growing up in Welton, they started their own Babysitter’s Club, similar to the pre-teen books of the same name, when they were 8.