Altrusa Elgin expands Chews to Read donations

  • Altrusa International Club of Elgin Inc. recently dropped off new "Chews to Read" literacy bags at the Pediatric Dental Clinic of Greater Elgin Family Care Center. Pictured, from left, are: Nancy Schueneman, "Chews to Read" coordinator, with Laura Ontiveros-Sanchez, clinic coordinator, and Bob Tanner, CEO; and back row, receptionists Leslie Servin and Liliana Gonzalez.

    Altrusa International Club of Elgin Inc. recently dropped off new "Chews to Read" literacy bags at the Pediatric Dental Clinic of Greater Elgin Family Care Center. Pictured, from left, are: Nancy Schueneman, "Chews to Read" coordinator, with Laura Ontiveros-Sanchez, clinic coordinator, and Bob Tanner, CEO; and back row, receptionists Leslie Servin and Liliana Gonzalez. Courtesy of Altrusa International

  • Altrusa International member Nancy Schueneman brings "Chews to Read" bags to the pediatric dental clinic of Greater Elgin Family Care Center.

    Altrusa International member Nancy Schueneman brings "Chews to Read" bags to the pediatric dental clinic of Greater Elgin Family Care Center. Courtesy of Altrusa International

  • "Chews to Read" bags feature coloring and activity books, literacy materials arts supplies and more.

    "Chews to Read" bags feature coloring and activity books, literacy materials arts supplies and more. Courtesy of Altrusa International

 
Submitted by Pat Szpekowski
Posted7/3/2020 6:13 PM

The Altrusa International Club of Elgin Inc. has a long history of supporting literacy programs and projects for children and adults in Elgin and surrounding communities.

For over five years, Altrusa has collaborated with the Pediatric Dental Clinic of Greater Elgin Family Care Center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

On a monthly basis, the club provides young patients with take-home "Chews to Read" bags containing not only dental products, but also literacy materials, such as oral health care primary reading books, games, and brushing calendars.

Recently, Altrusans became aware of a new need. With the shortened school year and the increase in stay-at-home time, many of the children served by this Federally Qualified Health Center are in need of enrichment materials.

"This has taken our monthly donation of Chews to Read bags in a new direction," said Nancy Schueneman, club member and Chews to Read coordinator.

"Along with the usual dental hygiene items, these bags are now bursting with other primary age items," Schueneman said. "We now include appropriate coloring, activity, reading and writing books; crayons; markers; pencils; pens; paint sets; construction paper; and glue sticks. As always, this project is focused on building both good oral health habits and literacy."

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The club raises thousands of dollars each year to support a number of programs and local not for profit organizations. Members are actively involved in local projects, such as:

• "Chews to Read" providing books and activity sheets in dental health tote bags for 5-6 year olds during first-time dental checkups at the Greater Elgin Family Care Center;

• "Altrusa Cares Corner" at the Elgin Area YWCA supporting children with a school bag collection;

• "Project PJ" distributing pajamas, socks and underwear during the holidays to the Salvation Army;

• Raising funds to provide a scholarship at Elgin Community College;

• Providing grants to local agencies which focus on literacy;

• Serving as volunteers at various community organizations and nonprofits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For more information about Altrusa International of Elgin, which meets the third Thursday of each month, visit the club's Facebook page or email club president Mary Rees Freeman at mrf647@hotmail.com.

Caring about its community since 1946, Altrusa International of Elgin Inc. has made a significant impact on assessing and addressing the vital needs of the Elgin area. Altrusa's motto is "Patriotism, Efficiency, Service" and the name itself signifies the Altrusa Keys symbolic for each letter of its name: Amity, Loyalty, Talent, Reciprocity, Unity, Service, and Achievement.

Since 1950 when Harriet Armstrong was named the first Altrusa Woman of the Year, women have been honored each year who have excelled in community service and exemplify the Altrusa Keys.

Elgin's club is composed of business and professional women, both active and retired, from various communities. They reside in Elgin, South Elgin, Pingree Grove, Hampshire, Huntley, and northern Kane County in Carpentersville, West Dundee, East Dundee, Sleepy Hollow and Algonquin.

Follow Altrusa -- Elgin IL on Facebook.

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