Totowa, NJ (PRWEB) July 22, 2014
Dr. Larry Kaplan and concerned leading dentists from across the nation gathered at the MGE Management Experts Benefit Dinner May 30, in St. Petersburg, FL. Government officials and community leaders also helped to raise funds for the Improving Youth Literacy Campaign, in support of the Boys and Girls Clubs and Youth Programs. The funds raised are providing hundreds of thousands of young people with books to tackle illiteracy and help break the cycle of poverty.
Notables who attended were: Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Jim Coats - former Pinellas County sheriff and board member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, Susan L. Valdes - vice chair Hillsborough County Public School Board, Kim Sharpe - practicing business and commercial law with Johnson Pope Law Offices and running for sixth circuit court judge, Group 16, Amy Ronshausen - deputy director of both the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), Lt. Col. Kirk Kumagai - U.S. Marine Corp (ret), senior marine instructor of the Clearwater High School Marine Corp Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp, Reverend Alfreddie Johnson - founder World Literacy Crusade and Imam Willmore Siddiq - spiritual leader, educator, and leader of the program “Putting the Neighborhood back in the Hood.”
At the March conference, dentists and their executive staff met to analyze and take action against one of their major business issues - hiring qualified staff in these times of high unemployment rates. They isolated illiteracy of applicants as a common denominator.
According to the Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success research, access to books is key to literacy. Studies confirm that the number of books in the home predicts reading achievement.
One study found that in middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 13 books per child; in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is one book for every 300 children.* The price is the #1 barrier to book ownership.
“Analysis of the most statistically accurate and comprehensive study of U.S. adult literacy ever conducted proves that 48.7 percent of U.S. adults are functionally illiterate, defined as being unable to hold an above-poverty-level-wage job. We believe illiteracy is a major source of economic destruction in this country and are determined to help fix the problem,” said Dr. Kaplan, owner of Dental 2000.
A highlight of the event was the entertainment provided by a trio of brothers, AKNU (A Kind Never Understood), from Los Angeles who helped with the fundraising. With astonishing moves and vocal talent, they performed original material and popular hits, which put the crowd in high spirits for the live auction. The group was featured on X Factor and just released an extended play album (EP) independently on Amazon and iTunes titled, "A Kind Never Understood."
Dental 2000, a full service dental and wellness spa, has been serving the community for over 32 years. Team Dental 2000’s vision statement is to offer meticulous, uncompromising, personalized services and attention to the needs of our patients and their families. Team Dental 2000 is a talented group of leading professionals honoring their word and committed to service, education, health and happiness provided in a fun atmosphere.
*Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006 - http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/libraries-for-children-and-ya/publications/Genco.pdf
Evans, M. D. R., et al. Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility (2010), doi:10.1016/j.rssm.2010.01.002 - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0276562410000090