All across our country communities are welcoming civic leaders, administrative personnel and private citizens to come into elementary classrooms to read to the students. The ultimate goals are to foster the love of reading and to promote literacy.
In our community, twenty-four readers came to our Primary School one day in early March to read to the children. These included retired teachers, the Fire Chief, the State Representative, other town officials, and business people in the community. The students were greatly appreciative of these volunteers who came to read to them.
Community Reading Day strives to promote a life-long interest in reading. Through reading, children can explore new worlds, experience different events, and gain knowledge. By having people come to school and read to them, they learn that reading is inportant to grown-ups, too. They also learn what these volunteers represent in the community, and how they help others in the exercise of their duties.
Literacy in a community is important. Children in low income familes seldom have access to books or have books in the home. Chiildren who have books at home or have access to them are more likely to do well in school, and develop adequate reading skills. This leads to a lower drop-out rate and greater success for these children in later life.
Reading is vital to success in school. Learning the language and learning to spell and define words comes from reading. The more the access to books, the greater the exposure to words and sentences will be. Books in the home helps to facilitate this.
Some communities conduct book drives with the goal of placing books in the hands of those who otherwise would not have them.
One such drive is “Worcester: The City that Reads” in Worcester, MA. This drive aims to put books in the homes of those who otherwise would not have them. They hope to promote life-long reading habits. They want to collect as many new or gently used books as possible to reach their goal. Drop-off sites are listed on http://www.worcpublib.org and http://www.worcesterschools.org.
Keep watch for such a drive in your community, or even start one yourself.