September is National Literacy Month

During National Literacy Month, I’d like to thank the teachers and mentors dedicated to helping children and adults learn to read.

Reading has always been one of my “favorite things.” As a child, my mother and father would read to my sister and me before bedtime. While my mother “stuck to the script,” my father would ad-lib with ridiculous comments about what the characters said or were doing. That kept us on our toes and kept us glued to the story. As a mother, I read to my children to give them a love of reading, whether it was a book, a comic book or a magazine. Now, I’m thrilled that bedtime reading is part of my grandchildren’s nightly rituals.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of disappearing into a book.

In my community, several programs are working to increase literacy for people of all ages. The Promising Futures Fund‘s Book-a-Month Club started in 2019 to give books to low-income school children. The Promising Futures Fund currently covers 240 kindergartens through 5th-grade classrooms across 13 elementary schools in Sioux Falls. To date, roughly 5,700 students have received 51,000 books! As a “charter member” of the club, I love visiting the classrooms to read to these kids.

REACH Literacy focuses on adult literacy in Sioux Falls. This organization is expanding its programs through a new Literacy Center dedicated to teaching adults to speak, read and write in English. During National Literacy Month — and beyond — I will be supporting this organization’s programs as well.

Please consider volunteering at a school or library, donating to a local or national literacy program, or setting aside “story time” with your kids. It’s true that “readers are leaders.”