GRAFTON—Literacy is an essential tool that will help children through the rest of their lives, and a love of reading can be taught at a young age.
With that in mind, the outreach team at the Church of the Good Shepherd has come up with a fun, family-friendly event centered on instilling a love of reading in the area’s youth.
“We really want to encourage reading and summer reading,” said organizer Lynn Cartwright. “It is our mission to get books into the hands of as many children we can.”
On Saturday, July 10, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. families with children in pre-k through fourth grade are welcome to come take part in a read-a-long and book giveaway at the bottom-level of the church, located at 3025 Lucas Dairy Road.
During the event, participants will be treated to a day centered around reading and will be provided with light refreshments.
Stations will be set up for each age group where children may choose to be read to or to read a book to a church volunteer. Each of the literary selections will be age appropriate for the children.
“We will also have stations set up for each age group and may possibly have some pop-up reading tents where kids can go to explore stories on their own,” Cartwright shared. “That way, they can check out some different books before making their selection.”
She went on to explain that members of the church’s congregation have already graciously donated nearly 300 books to be given out during the event.
“We think that if kids are encouraged, they will learn to love books. I find that even children who have a lot of things really enjoy having their own books,” she explained.
Pastor Matthew Dotson shared that it is the hope of the church and the outreach team to eventually be able to take their efforts mobile, with a traveling book van.
“We have some more people from the church and the outreach team that want to go out and help,” he shared. “And we are really interested in extending our outreach to other parts of the county. To do so, we would fill a van full of books and travel to various locations, with a book mobile.”
Cartwright noted that be able to continue to host events like this, donations of new or very gently used books would be needed.
Donations can be made by dropping books off at the church. For those wishing to make monetary donations, checks and money orders may be made payable to the Church of the Good Shepherd. Please note that the money is to be used for book purchases.
“We really hope to keep this going. We just think reading and valuing books and the time spent reading together is really important and worth the effort to host these kinds of events,” Cartwright expressed. “We hope that parents and grandparents will bring children out to the read-a-long, not only for the books but for the socialization.”