Recently, 20 members of our Young Professionals Network visited the Kingdom House in downtown St. Louis. They spent a morning reading to three, four and five year olds to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Project. This project, which the RBC’s Young Professional Members have adopted for its’ 2013 service project, encourages young children to start reading.
Raegan Johnson, a Project Manager at Monsanto Company, was one of our volunteers. She said, “The children were excited to hear me read the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Without hesitation, they joined me every time I read the phrase ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!’ Their enthusiasm energized me.”
Early-childhood reading stimulates the imagination, encourages cultural exploration and contributes to better grades. “As a child, I loved to read book series like Ramona, Sweet Valley High, and The Babysitters Club. What I thought was just a recreational pastime was really helping to build reading, vocabulary, creative thinking and comprehension skills,” continued Johnson.
Literacy is a basic need, and it’s one everyone should be encouraged to be able to meet. By exposing children to reading very early on, and making it fun, we are setting children up to be successful. That’s what this initiative is about – realizing illiteracy is not a “their” problem, it’s an “our” problem, and we can all be a part of the solution.