Helping Kids To Read

The Pottstown Mercury has teamed up with the YWCA to spread the word about a new literacy program. They asked me, along with their other bloggers, if we could help get the word out and also help promote the program.  As an avid reader and as a parent who has tried to instill a love of reading in to my own kids, I of course am happy to help.  Plus, this literacy program reminded me of when I was a kid and I was a part of something like this.

As a kid, my Mom had told me she signed me up to take part in the Reading Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.  I thought she had been kidding.  I learned just about the time she put me in the back seat of her Chevy Vega to take me to the library that my Dad was a much funnier person than my Mom.

She was actually taking me to Reading Camp.  Reading Camp was a lot like regular camp but without the red juice, rope bridges and pastel colored tee shirts.  Once a week, I, along with a gaggle of other kids whose moms and dads didn’t believe in clearing out schedules in order to get to the pool early, met at the library to pick out books to read.  While I had initial trepidation about lost time during summer vacation, quickly I came to love our weekly trip to the library.

Not only did I discover authors like Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, and Donald Sobol, but the library had bean bag chairs to read in (you better check out a book quickly because those bean bag chairs were like gold).  As a kid, that mattered.

I credit a lot of factors for my love of reading and one of them I trace back to the Summer Reading Camp at the Reading Public Library.

Today, I encourage my kids to read.  I started them on reading when they were still in the womb and I read to my wife’s stomach.  When they were younger I read to them before bed, I regularly take them out to the book store, and now, they are both card carrying members of our local library.  I would have signed them up for a Summer Reading Camp too (so I could complete the Circle of Life) but they have taken to reading on their own plus they are much faster than me and extremely difficult to grab.

I’ve been lucky.  I had parents who encouraged me to read which in turn carried over to me and my children.  But some aren’t so lucky.  Some don’t have the opportunities that I had or my kids have.  This is why I’m all for the YWCA and Pottstown Mercury’s literacy program.  I know how important it is to read.

So what can you do to help?  Well, you don’t need to sign up for Summer Reading Camp but you can just sign up.

For every valid name and email address received by the Mercury, an anonymous donor has agreed to contribute $1.  The form to sign up is right here:  SIGN UP SHEET

All I need you to do is click on the link, fill in your name and email address and click ‘Submit’ before December 11th, 2012.  You aren’t volunteering, you don’t have to do anything else. You just are adding your name to the list to show you care about literacy.  Takes 3 seconds, it won’t cost you a dime, and could seriously help kids learn to and love to read.

Here is that link again:  SIGN UP SHEET

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