In the house where I grew up, reading was everywhere. My parents and older siblings read to me and then, when I was old enough, I read to them. Magazines, books, and newspapers were (and are) a staple of everyday life.
I think I told the story before that I was reading John Steinbeck by fifth grade and that I used to hide in the rarely used front hall to read Charles Dickens. I can’t imagine a world not inhabited by Winken, Blinken, and Nod (which I’m not sure how to spell because I only heard those stories) or Frog and Toad or David Copperfield. So many childhood friends are rushing back to my mind that I can’t keep up with the flow.
At any rate, I’ve just gotten home from the Floyd Ferst Foundation meeting, where we are trying to start an early literacy intervention program in Floyd County. (I’m on Polk’s community action team or CAT as we call it, too.) The program provides books for children from birth through their fifth birthdays, sending a book each month to their homes along with a newsletter helping the parents know how to best use the book to teach their kids.
The challenge is building financial support for the Floyd program (Polk is well-established though more funds raised equals more kids served) and then enrolling the children.
The work brings to mind a few quotes on literacy that I thought I’d share:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass
And, last but not least:
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney
Read a book, sponsor a child in Ferst’s program, pass on the love of reading and learning. We’ll all be better for it. 📕📚📖