How do you recall your childhood school years? Did you have a favorite teacher or, perhaps, a favorite subject? For me, the teacher was Mr. West in fifth-grade math. He wore a bow tie and had white hair and a really distinguished handlebar mustache. He had a way of making even the most math-challenged student (that would be me) understand how numbers bring life to everyday experiences. I learned to love math for the first time in my young life and it was all because someone took the time to help me experience it.
While I came to enjoy math, my very favorite subject was reading. I loved the way I could bring characters to life while reading aloud to other students, trying to keep their attention so they could journey through the story with me. I know that being able to read got me the right job, has helped me hold good conversations and has often taken me on adventures without having to leave my chair.
Do you know someone who could use an exciting journey through books? Perhaps you know a child who has trouble reading? That’s where the Goodwill Good Readers Program comes in.
One Saturday a month at 11 a.m., Goodwill Ambassadors (volunteers) will read for an hour to the children who come into specific Goodwill bookstores, giving parents time to shop during story time. Details can be found in the “events” section of our website (or see below). After story time, the children who attended will be given a book to take home.
As Goodwill’s president and CEO, Bob Rosinsky, says, “Strong literacy skills are closely linked to the probability of having a good job, decent earnings, and access to training opportunities. It is the greatest weapon in the ongoing struggle between success and failure – between economic insecurity and prosperity.”
My take on it? In this electronic age of cell phones and Echoes, reading is still fundamental! Books are affordable (especially if you buy them at one of our stores) and easily recyclable. More importantly, they can take you on a journey all your own. You see, no two people experience the same book the same way. Two people can read the same book and, because their imaginations are different, have a totally unique experience. It also paves the way for great conversation because of the use of imagination in reading. How about that!
So bring your child or children to a Good Readers program, tell a neighbor, tell a friend, and make it a great day for a child, with a story and some adventures all their own. It will give your kids something to discuss, awakening their conversational skills, when they discover just how imagination brings a good book to life!
Join Goodwill in cultivating the developing minds of America!
Dates and locations for the Good Readers Program are:
- Manatee Bookstore (5512 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton): April 21 and August 18, 11:00 a.m.
- Clark Bookstore (5831 Derek Avenue, Sarasota): May 19 and September 15, 11:00 a.m.
- Tara Bookstore (7200 55th Ave E, Bradenton): June 16 and October 20, 11:00 a.m.
- Venice Bookstore (1752 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice): July 21 and Nov 17, 11:00 a.m.