Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Organizations participate in Read Across America Day

In schools around Tuscaloosa Tuesday, volunteers from area organizations will be reading to students for Read Across America Day, which happens to be on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

United Way also will hold its Day of Action Tuesday, urging people to get out and volunteer in the community.

Rusty Smith, director of major giving and public relations with United Way, said Tuesday marks their third annual Day of Action and the organization’s second time participating in Read Across America Day.

“The Day of Action is designed for people to not put their money where their mouth is, but to put their body where their money is, which is into the community,” Smith said. “The first year, we participated in an outdoor activity in the summertime and had a good turnout, and the next year we decided to help out in the schools.”

He said that while it is too late for volunteers to sign up now, anyone who is interested in reading in the schools can contact him at the United Way.

“We are excited to have about 125 volunteers that will go into the schools, including the LITE program and some of the faculty and staff,” Smith said.

Smith said the day shows students that people in the community care and really want to help them, as well as making them realize the importance of reading. Smith said in the future, the United Way plans to continue to have community service events and hopes that the students will participate.

“There are many opportunities that people can participate in, such as the Adopt-a-School program through the Chamber [of Commerce],” he said.

He added that from Tuesday to Friday, if customers mention the word literacy when they make a purchase at Barnes and Noble, part of the proceeds will go to libraries in Tuscaloosa area schools.

LITE, which stands for Literacy Is The Edge, will also be participating in the Day of Action. Members said they are excited about participating.

Margaret Bishop, a sophomore majoring in public relations, said her mother is a second-grade teacher in Tennessee, so she has always been aware of Read Across America Day and wanted to participate.

“Reading is so important and I love to take advantage of the opportunity to share reading with others, especially children,” Bishop said. “I have loved reading my entire life, and I hope to help another child learn to love reading.”

Another LITE member participating in the event, Anna Olsen, a graduate student in advertising and public relations, said she hopes the children are as excited about Tuesday as she is.

“While working with LITE, I have become aware of great opportunities and have enjoyed participating in activities that increase the desire for literacy,” she said.

According to Smith, the kids love it when people come and read to them.

“They feel like a superstar is coming to see them,” he said.

Bishop said she agreed.

“Anything out of their normal routine, whether it be a new book they have never had read to them or a new face that they don’t recognize, can be really exciting to an elementary-aged child,” Bishop said.

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