BRAZOS VALLEY, Texas — In March, the world will celebrate the birthday of famous children’s author Dr. Seuss.
In honor of this event, the United Way of the Brazos Valley is putting volunteer-led reading back into the classrooms of Pre-K through third grade students.
"We knew we wanted to do reading day again," said Alison Prince, president and CEO of United Way of the Brazos Valley. "But, we knew it was going to look very, very different in 2021 because schools are shut down to outside guests.”
Anyone interested can sign up online to make a reading video. That video will then be entered into a virtual library which teachers can access and play in their classrooms all across the Brazos Valley's seven county region.
"The more things that we do to encourage kids to read, the better," said Hugo Ibarra, community outreach officer for Bryan ISD. "Sometimes we cannot change the content, but we can change the delivery. And the way that we as community members, as parents, as teachers deliver that message – I think that could really make an impact.”
Those who wish to participate have until Feb. 25 to register, film and submit their video. Prince noted that at the time of the program’s launch date early this month, United Way almost immediately had 20 sign-ups. There is no limit set to how many stories will be added to the virtual library.
"Part of it’s [about] having volunteers, but also some of it is having faces that [the kids] recognize in the community reading to them in the classroom," Prince said. "They’re going to think that’s really cool... We’re shooting for mayors and police officers, and things like that."
To get started creating a video, select a book of choice and visit uwbv.org. Scroll down on the home page and select the option ‘Reading Day 2021.'