I was privileged to attend the Power of the Community dinner at North Clay Middle School Thursday night. The purpose was to raise money for Clay County’s “Real Men Read” program and last year it raised about $10,000. This year, organizers hoped to raise a similar amount, Kathy Deal said.
What a great program! The money is used to buy books for kindergarteners. Paul Sinders said during his presentation that in the past four years, the program has provided 77,000 books for children.
I was fortunate to have a great-aunt who was a school teacher in Gary. She encouraged me to read and to write also.
It may have been a trick, but Aunt Jessie once told my mother she loved getting letters from me because they were so interesting.
Growing up, I read The Hardy Boys and The Bobbsey Twins, though that series was not as interesting. When I had an appendectomy at age 6, I asked my parents to read a book about Tom Terrific and Manfred, his Wonder Dog so many times both they and I had it memorized.
Our daughter was an avid reader, though less so than I had been.
When she was an elementary student, she, too, had her books and she absolutely hated it if I read the various characters in funny voices or tried to substitute words.
“Dad!” she would growl through clenched teeth.
Then she discovered the joys of math and reading became less important to her.
Linda and I make sure to pick up books for her children whenever we can.
Now, three of our grandchildren have written books for children. That is to say one of them have both words and pictures they have created and the other two have drawings and gave Grandpa permission to write a story to go with their pictures.
Thanks to Amazon the books will be published after the kids give their approval.
Real men read? You bet they do! Reading (and writing and arithmetic) will make our country stronger and smarter as we think through our challenges and then work to solve them.