Dream Big, Read!
These are words we should be embracing for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and everyone. The CLRPN and CALS have created a CLRPN Reads! summer reading outreach program and I am working on it as part of the City of Little Rock’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The four main goals of CLRPN Reads! for this summer are:
- Increase the number of library cardholders
- Increase the number of books checked out by new cardholders
- Increase the number of kids who attend programs at neighborhood location and branch libraries
- Increase the number of books kids have as a part of their daily experience and opportunities they have read.
We have been achieving these goals by going to neighborhood sites (Bishop Warren, The Orchard, and Stephan Community Center) and giving away books, library cards forms, and summer reading bags. CALS has a program specialist, Latoya Morgan; she visits with us when she can and reads a book to 3-7 year olds and does an activity with them. Our focus is to get children involved in reading for the summer by having fun along with reading.
I personally have had a chance to interact with these children, who are all great kids that need someone to be there with them and give them a little guidance. I have spoken with a few on occasions and they made me realize that I can help them first by putting a book in their hands, reading to them and letting them read back to me. One child was so excited to see me back, she ran up to me and asked “Are you giving away books today?” That made me smile, knowing that there are children who want to read. It’s definitely time for us to start helping a kid out as much as possible with their education, getting them to the reading level they need to be on so they can look forward and be prepared for college along with the outside world. CLRPN Reads! is a start.
I am Jonnyce Arnold and I am part of the Promise.