Macon County’s Board of Education has officially started laying the foundation for Read2Me — Reading Matters in Macon County, and is promoting the program as a “community-wide initiative.”
The school system has begun collecting books as part of the initiative and has collection points located at East Franklin Elementary and at the central office. As Read2Me spreads, more collection points will be set up. As books are collected, they will be given to families in the community to help promote the initiative.
Read2Me is geared toward helping children get an early start by encouraging parents to read with their children outside of school. The campaign was initially anticipated to be aimed toward preschool aged children and their parents, but has quickly evolved to include children in all grades.
Although the initiative is being spearheaded by the school system, according to Carol Waldroop, head of Macon County School’s Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, the goal is for the program to be adopted as a community effort to promote literacy in the county.
“We are still throwing around ideas on how to get the initiative up and running,” said Waldroop. “We hope to see the logo on restaurant menus and in store windows. Maybe instead of pictures to color, restaurants can give parents the option of reading a book with their child while they wait for their food.”
“We need a shift in Macon County and in the community as a whole. We need to understand that reading is really important. Parents have to be involved and read to their children every day,” said Waldroop.
As the literacy campaign continues to grow, Waldroop hopes to organize parent education nights and other community events to help get parents involved and encourage reading for all ages in the home. According to Waldroop, an open meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at the New Horizon Training Center to invite community businesses to come and learn about the program and help promote Read2Me throughout Macon County.