For children who lack a home or a secure place to live, having their own book and a set of crayons can mean a world of difference.
This week, preschool teacher Sasha Sharpe donated 40 copies of her self-published book, "Counting With Friends Outside," to the Monarch School for Homeless Children in downtown San Diego.
On Tuesday at 4 p.m., Sharpe will present preschool and first grade students at Monarch School with their very own hardcover copies of her book, along with a set of crayons. She will also sit and read with students.
Sharpe says that she created the book because she understands the crucial impact reading skills have on a child's development. As a preschool teacher with over 10 years of experience, she is well aware of how important it is for kids to have access to books.
"Counting With Friends Outside" is an interactive children's book which teaches essential skills such as counting, identifying numbers, colors and words. Sharpe says that its message encourages children to embrace and celebrate cultural differences.
Her goal was to find an organization that specifically serves underprivileged children with limited access to learning resources. Kristen Paruginog, Executive Director of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, helped to point Sharpe in the direction of the Monarch School, which serves homeless youth.
The school has served San Diego for more than 25 years. It began as a one-room education center before expanding into a K-12 school.