Victoria Adult Literacy Council to help build libraries for Victoria families

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

June 23, 2014 at 1:23 a.m.

The Victoria Adult Literacy Council wants to help children continue reading during summer vacation.

For three weeks, the council staff and members will read to children already enrolled at summer camps at The Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA at Pinnacle Pointe to encourage reading and building a home library.

"Reading is very important, and some of the kids don't get a chance to visit the library to check out books," said Eden Casal, program coordinator.

As part of the council's Family Literacy In Practice Summer Reading Tour, she said, the staff will visit two summer camp programs to share the books they've collected to build libraries in Victoria homes.

LeTrice Youngblood, the Boys and Girls Club program director, said the children enjoyed the program last year.

"The kids love it because they got the books at the end of the day," she said. "It's always a great opportunity to have people come in and read for them."

The Boys and Girls Club summer camp includes about 80 children, but the program focuses on about 30 students between ages 6 and 8 years old.

It's not always possible for the families to buy their own books or visit the library, Youngblood said. The books will help keep them reading through the summer and help them develop good reading habits, she said.

"The best experience of a book is hearing it. Then, they get to go home and read it for themselves," Youngblood said.

The books are leftover from the adult literacy program, which also helps parents study for and earn their GED, Casal said. The council also receives help from a Dow grant program that provides funds to purchase the reading material that ends up being given away during the summer reading program.

Each week, the program gives out about 60 books to the children in the program, Casal said.

The nonprofit group is always looking for volunteers to help read to the children during the summer program and throughout the year as tutors. Donations in the form of books or money can also be made throughout the year, Casal said.

"As a little kid, you remember your parents reading to you," Casal said. "We want them to keep up their reading during the summer and to enjoy reading."



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