2006-04-26 / Features

Variety Boys & Girls Club Kids Find Reading Is Sweet

BY DIANA SANDERS

Variety Boys & Girls Club Kids Find Reading Is Sweet
BY DIANA SANDERS 

Local children who are members of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens (VBGCQ) enjoyed an afternoon of ice cream sampling and storytelling at Baskin-Robbins, 42-02 Northern Blvd., as the ice cream shop paired with VBGCQ in hosting a fundraiser for the organization and promoted reading at the same time.

Children from the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens (clockwise: Tiffany Jaramillo, Jacqueline Martin, Jennifer Cornejo, Kayla Kennedy, Kaira Kennedy, Chaquira Johnson, Barbara Ferreira, Raquasia Smith) take part in an ice cream sampling at Baskin-Robbins on Northern Boulevard. Children from the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens (clockwise: Tiffany Jaramillo, Jacqueline Martin, Jennifer Cornejo, Kayla Kennedy, Kaira Kennedy, Chaquira Johnson, Barbara Ferreira, Raquasia Smith) take part in an ice cream sampling at Baskin-Robbins on Northern Boulevard. Baskin Robbins franchisee Prabir Mitra donated the proceeds from Monday's ice cream sales along with an additional amount to the VBGCQ in support of the organization and its reading programs. The donation stresses Mitra's and Baskin-Robbins' pro-education standpoint, "Children who love to read will become readers for life," stated Ivette Sanz of Baskin-Robbins.

In an effort to encourage the educational process in all elements for growing children, Alexandra Rodriguez, VBGCQ educational director, read short stories to the children as they sampled new Baskin-Robbins flavored sundaes, which will be available starting May 7 in participating stores. "It's our way of encouraging one of the most important skills a child can develop, and one that contributes to the building of self-esteem and self-confidence in children," Tracie Van Dina, VBGCQ executive director, said.

Baskin-Robbins franchisee Prabir Mitra presents the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens with a donation. (L. to r.): Alexandra Rodriguez, VBGCQ educational director, Mitra, Josh Robinson, BaskinRobbins field service manager, and Farooq Yousaf, Baskin-Robbins supervisor. Baskin-Robbins franchisee Prabir Mitra presents the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens with a donation. (L. to r.): Alexandra Rodriguez, VBGCQ educational director, Mitra, Josh Robinson, BaskinRobbins field service manager, and Farooq Yousaf, Baskin-Robbins supervisor. While the children arrived for sampling and reading time in the late afternoon, during the entire day BaskinRobbins held a book drive, encouraging community residents to donate books, new or used, to be given to the VBGCQ. In addition to Monday's event and donation, Baskin-Robbins has also taken part in "Reading Rewards", a youth reading advocacy program supporting reading for school children. Reading Rewards certificates that can be brought into a Baskin-Robbins store and exchanged for a scoop of any of the store's many flavors of ice cream are issued to students at various schools in New York, However, the benefits of reading rewards go well beyond sweet treats and even the students. "Coming into Baskin-Robbins to help a child redeem a Reading Rewards gift certificate gives parents a chance to reinforce how proud they are of the child's reading accomplishments," Mitra said, noting that reading has an effect not only on a student, but also an entire family.

VBGCQ Education Director Alexandra Rodriguez reads a short story to the children while they sample ice cream. VBGCQ Education Director Alexandra Rodriguez reads a short story to the children while they sample ice cream. Part of the Boys and Girls Club of America, a national organization, the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, a nonprofit organization since 1955, provides children age 6 through 17 diverse programs such as computer training and tutoring, building essentials for bright futures. Teaming with Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest chain of ice cream shops, makes for high hopes of promising effects. Baskin-Robbins stores can be found in more than 5,600 locations around the world, 2,700 of which are in the United States. Through May 31, Tea of Tranquility and Happy Camper flavors are available in stores. The franchise also recently released three different flavors of its signature frozen Cappuccino Blast. For more information about BaskinRobbins, visit www.baskinrobbins.com. For information about the BaskinRobbins Reading Rewards Program, contact Mitra at 718-609-0723.

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