This January the SB6 Impact Council will launch the tenth year of its successful Real Men Read program. We’re looking for men who appreciate a good children’s story and would like to share their enthusiasm for reading with kindergartners in the Wabash Valley. Real Men Read volunteers meet virtually with their class once a month, from January through April, to read aloud a book that has been chosen by Success By 6. Each child will then receive the book to take home to read over and over again.
What is the purpose of Success By 6 Real Men Read?
- To show students who real men are, that real men do in fact read and that real men value education.
- To encourage and improve the literacy skills of our students.
- To provide men with mentoring opportunities with students.
- To demonstrate the importance of student achievement and community partnerships.
- Students receive extra attention from positive role models who value education.
- Boys and girls see men modeling the importance of reading.
- Students listen to a fluent reader and follow along, improving their own vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
- MENtors develop relationships with the schools.
- Each student receives four books to build their own home library.
Everything a child learns depends on how well they can read. Up to third grade, kids are “learning to read.” After third grade, they begin “reading to learn.” Children who finish third grade without adequate reading skills will often struggle to learn new things. Language and literature are not the only things affected; their studies in math, science, history, art and music suffer too. Statistics show that, without intervention, 74 percent will never catch up (“Literacy in the US” www.firstbook.org).
Why does this matter?
The children in our community grow up to be our future teachers, doctors, scientists, politicians, business owners, and employees. Regardless of who you are, you are affected by how well our children read.
Successful businesses rely on a well-educated workforce. The Wabash Valley has a core of industries that specialize in advanced manufacturing, engineering, and technology. Additional businesses can be attracted to our region if we have a pool of talented employees from which to hire. Further, students who graduate from our local universities will be able to find high-paying jobs in Indiana and not have to move out of state. Ultimately, the quality of life in our area will benefit as more business and families prosper.
There’s more to the Real Men Read program than just the social and economic benefits. There is a degree of personal fulfillment too. Imagine the impact you can make by helping kids learn to read. With your encouragement and influence, they’ll enjoy school and learn more. In turn, they’ll be better prepared to pursue higher education and a satisfying career.
Please contact Dorothy Chambers, United Way of the Wabash Valley, at [email protected] or 812.235.6287.
Now, perhaps more than ever, children need the pleasure of sharing the enjoyment of a good book. Through Real Men Read, you help them think better, imagine more richly, and become passionate and lifelong readers!