Kristin Cooper, Vivian Howard partner with children's literacy campaign

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper and celebrity restaurateurs Ben and Vivian Howard hosted a fundraising lunch in Kinston Thursday to help improve child literacy.

The nonprofit Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties staged the Books and Brunch event to raise money to fund the group's goal of participating in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program.

Through the program, kids receive a book each month in the mail until they are five years old.

Cooper says giving kids a good learning foundation is critical to our state's future.

"That starts with our children, and seeing that they are ready for school," she explains. "That they're ready to learn. That they're ready to get out, and hold jobs and can contribute to our state's economy."

The brunch was part of a larger child literacy campaign called Give Me Five.

The campaign is launching on the Chef and the Farmer's social media handles.

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Renowned Chef and the Farmer owner Vivian Howard is partnering with the Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties to support an on-going literacy campaign called Give Me Five.

The campaign aims to raise $30,000 for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program in Lenoir and Greene Counties.

That program works to provide a child with a book every month until they are 5 years old.

"We are very excited to be working with the marketing team at the Chef & the Farmer and are so grateful to Chef Vivian Howard for her support. Community partnerships truly make a difference and we appreciate their involvement on this campaign in helping to build a more literacy-rich community," stated Molly Taylor, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Partnership.

A Books and Brunch event is being held at the Chef and the Farmer in Kinston Thursday morning, starting at 10:30 a.m.

North Carolina's First Lady, Kristin Cooper, is set to make a special guest appearance.