No matter the task at hand, reading is involved. Read Aloud West Virginia is striving to help parents, students and teachers realize the importance of reading to children.
Randolph County previously had a local chapter of Read Aloud, and officials are currently working to re-energize. Mary K. Bond, executive director for Read Aloud West Virginia, spoke with concerned residents last, working to gather volunteers to re-establish the group.
Bond said all children are born equal, unable to speak, read, count or write at birth.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Mary K. Bond, executive director for Read Aloud West Virginia, speaks with local residents about requirements to reinvigorate the local chapter.
"We want to make sure children have someone to read to them to increase the child's vocabulary and attention span and stimulate their mind and encourage curiosity," Bond said. "We have done a great job raising children to know about sports, but we really don't do the same for reading."
Bond said she is looking for volunteers to read, as well as some to coordinate the programs.
"We want to start a community group that meets on a regular basis," Bond said. "This will help raise awareness of our group and give a face to Read Aloud. Local schools in large areas will be able to pull readers from local civic groups and businesses, while more isolated schools will need to rely on parents, grandparents and volunteers for school reader volunteers."
Bond said Pam Hewitt, assistant superintendent of Randolph County Schools, and Debbie Fincham, Title I coordinator for the school system, are on board for the reinstatement of Read Aloud in the schools. Each school that participates will have a coordinator, and schools will need to register for the program by Sept. 15.
"We will train new readers and train them after we know where they are needed," Bond said. "We want to make reading as exciting as traveling to a West Virginia University football game."
Bond said Read Aloud is using the tag line, 'What are you reading?'
"Adults ask the kids what they are reading and kids ask the adults what they are reading, so each learns the importance of reading," Bond said. "A continuous dialog raises the value we place on reading."
Bond said offerings to support classrooms include loaning books to schools, book trunks, donated magazines and tools. They also have bookmarks, pins and stickers.
Elkins resident Sue Talbott volunteers to serve as a trainer for the group. The next meeting for organization is slated for 9 a.m. May 16 at Kissel Stop in Elkins.