Members of the community have officially adopted the “Read2Me — Reading Matters in Macon County” initiative, and have began working to determine methods to further promote the program throughout the county.
Read2Me is geared toward helping children get an early start by encouraging parents to read with their children outside of school. The campaign is aimed toward preschool aged children and their parents, but is quickly evolving to include children in all grades.
The school system began the endeavor by collecting books as part of the initiative and has collection points located at East Franklin Elementary and at the central office. According to Carol Waldroop, head of Macon County School’s Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, several boxes of books have already been picked up and stored in preparation of distributing the books to students. As Read2Me spreads, more collection points will be set up.
A community meeting was held recently with representatives from the library, Franklin Rotary, school board members, health department, literacy council, retired teachers and central office staff who are all dedicated to promoting early literacy in Macon County.
“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, the Read2Me campaign is exploring ideas and looking into becoming a non-profit to be able to apply for grants that would provide the group with the financial support needed to reach as many children in Macon County as possible.
The group is divided into three sections each with a specific focal point in helping to launch the initiative. The three sub-groups, Public Awareness, Parent Training, and Books to Families are individually comprised of citizens with expertise and passion for the respective topics.
Parent education nights and other community events are intended to help get parents involved and encourage reading for all ages in the home. Another open meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. at the MPP Training Annex building to invite community businesses to come and learn about the program and help promote Read2Me throughout Macon County.