The Teach to Learn Let’s Read Program is aimed at encouraging literacy in the community. While the majority of our efforts are directed towards reading to children, the programs strives to create an atmosphere where people develop an intrinsic motivation to read in solitude and with peers around them.
The purpose of this program is to encourage communal literacy among children by fostering community efforts. We are working on creating more events where volunteers read and hand out books to children on a bigger scale. Our method of fostering literacy has three ways of encouraging reading: 1) Free Books 2) Community Events 3) Optimistic Volunteers.
The Let’s Read program began as an initiative to assist children who may have not had the opportunity to learn to read at the same level as their fellow classmates. In several households, English is a second language, and this leaves grade-school children at a disadvantage when it comes to reading in a foreign dialect. 60 million homes in the United States don’t speak English at home, with the highest population of the people residing in the Northeast. T2L is working towards helping children in these households who have trouble reading at the expected proficiency of their grade level, and this platform serves to jumpstart a love for learning and prevent potential disadvantages students may have compared to native English speakers.
We started the initial program with a Let’s Read event in partnership with the local Simon mall (in Jefferson Valley, NY). T2L handed out books and read to many children as they came about, allowing kids to keep the books that were handed to them. A grant was awarded by Macy’s for efforts in the program, and the money went towards creating bookshelves for students to store their books. A partnership with Peekskill Reads was additionally formed, as 7 volunteers from Lakeland and Walter Panas High School worked together to read to children at the annual Men Who Read event at the Field House Library, an occasion aimed at breaking down the stereotype that only women can read to children. An additional Lets Read event at the mall was also set up to round out the year, and books were collected continually through book drives.
Our program uses public spaces like libraries and malls as places where kids of all ages can come and read together. Volunteers read to children 1-on-1, answering any questions the child may have.
Thus far, we have donated over 2000 books to children through literacy events. 6,000 books have been raised through book drives, and 80 kids were read to at the Men Who Read event in October, with close to 60 children read to in each of the other mall events.
- 5 main events for reading encouragement
- Over 300 children benefitted
- 6000 books collected
- 2000 of which have thus far been distributed