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Photo by Brooke Meyer.
Cary, NC – One of our favorite community programs is Read & Feed. It’s an all-volunteer, no-cost program to help economically disadvantaged kids. Now is their Capital Campaign. Find out how you can make a contribution to this excellent organization.
Read & Feed began as a personal effort by Jan Elmo to help children at Northwoods Elementary learn to read. More from Read & Feed:
One of her students spoke broken English and hid beneath his desk to avoid Jan and the books she wanted to share with him. It broke her heart. She thought all children should love to read.
Jan set out to find a way to help Wake County students who lacked the resources to become passionate and confident readers. She traveled the country studying other reading programs and decided that the best way to tackle this challenge was to employ a mobile classroom stocked with books, food, and volunteers and bring the program directly to the neighborhoods where disadvantaged students live.
Jan invested her own money to buy an RV and the beginning supplies. She rallied the support of the Northwoods Elementary principal and recruited some volunteer tutors. Read and Feed was born.
This year, Read and Feed will operate 31 sites, serving about 750 children in 2012. The goal is to serve 1,000 students per year by 2015.
Read & Feed visits each neighborhood once a week for 12 weeks (a semester). Children attend an hour-long session that includes dinner.
After they eat, the children spend time reading with their tutors. They practice reading aloud. They talk about the main idea of the story; its characters and setting. Sometimes they complete book reports or worksheets that help them improve their reading comprehension.
Before they go home, each child selects three books that he can take home to add to his personal library-before Read and Feed many children have no books at all in their homes. By the end of the program, each child has at least 36 books in his or her home library.
The program is absolutely free to the children who participate. In fact, Read & Feed often has other neighborhood children hanging outside the RV hoping for an opportunity to come on board.
Read and Feed is a 501-c3 organization and all gifts are fully tax deductible. Pledges range from $10 to more than $10,000 and every gift helps a child become a strong reader.
Every donation helps.