Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Help boost a child’s chance to read

Those of us who can read take the skill for granted. It’s something we do on a daily basis in so many different ways, from reading street signs to filling out reports and reading novels for pleasure.

But for those learning to read, the most critical tool in their toolkit is access to books. Not every child has that.

That makes the book drive underway throughout the month of February an important endeavor and one which we hope you will support.

WAKE Up and Read was established two years ago to promote reading and the importance of learning the skill early in a child’s education.

This year, they hope to collect more than 110,000 books. They will be distributed to schools with a large percentage of studens receiving free or reduced-lunch subsidies. Those schools include three in the Garner area, so this is a project that helps our local schools. The goal is to give children in those schools 10 books each, which they can read over the summer. The greatest virtue of this program is that these books are gifts to the children, not loaners. They may read them over the summer, but they will be on a book shelf somewhere in that home next fall, too, to be read and re-read.

So here’s our call to action for you: Look through your home for unused or unwanted books. Maybe your older children or your grown children have left behind books they will no longer read. Box them up and donate them so that some other child can enjoy learning a skill we all take for granted. If you want to donate a book, the closest drop off locations are at Washington Elementary School on Fayetteville Road in Raleigh or at Herbert Akins Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina. Both those drop off points are a little bit of a drive, but that sacrifice is small in comparison to the lifelong skill you’ll be helping a child develop.