Growing up, my house was practically exploding with books. They were crammed into bookcases, stacked high on end tables, and strewn across the bed in the guest room. From paperback novels, to kids’ picture books, to an endless stream of magazines, no surface was safe from the ever-growing surplus of reading material. Even the staircase was losing ground, as it slowly transformed into a diagonal shelving unit, rather than a pathway on which to climb from one floor to another.
In hindsight, I feel lucky the house didn’t go up like a matchstick. I also feel lucky that my parents showed me that reading is an essential part of life. My Mom was an elementary school library teacher, so she had a knack for picking out great kids’ books. My Dad had an affinity for Edgar Allen Poe and a total disregard for age-appropriate bedtime stories. Between the two of them, reading was never boring.
I realize now that a lot of kids don’t grow up with that advantage in life. That’s why I decided to volunteer with Christopher House to help plan a read-a-thon at local elementary schools. Christopher House works with families to provide high-quality education and resources to break the cycle of poverty. Promoting literacy is a huge part of that, and so is making sure kids have access to books at home. I am helping plan school-wide events over the next couple of weeks where the kids will play reading games, sign a contract to read every day, and receive two free books they can take home.
Interested in getting involved? Here’s how you can help:
• We still need more volunteers for the read-a-thon events on March 8th and 15th.
• If you love crafting, we can put your skills to good use. (Cutting out animal shapes for games, etc.)
• If you have extra craft supplies lying around (construction paper, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, etc.), we will gladly take them off your hands.
Email me for more information. You can also make a tax-deductible donation to Christopher House online here. (Include “read-a-thon” in the comments.)
I’m looking forward to sharing my love of reading with Christopher House kids in the coming weeks. A couple of new books might not go very far in building a home library, but I think every little bit will count.