|Not exactly an effective poster boy, but hey I do get to read some spiffy comics...|
Blogged about this here before, and it's time for another round of readings done under the auspices of "Guys Read" - the volunteer literacy advocacy project in conjunction with the Literacy Council of Alaska that has been a tremendous success story in instilling a passion for reading amongst 4th-grade boys in our community. I'll let program director Greg Hill explain it in his own words:
"This is for the men of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, especially those concerned about the large number of boys who in about 4th grade stop reading for pleasure for the rest of their lives. The Alaska Guys Read program does something about that.If you are in this neck of the woods today or tomorrow (January 17th/18th) from 12noon - 1:30pm there will be volunteer signups + orientation/training (super easy & super fast) downtown at the Noel Wien Public Library. I dropped in yesterday and was just amazed at the new tech that makes this such a smooth experience, and got a chance to preview a handful of the new titles we'll be reading to the kids.
This Guys Read program was created here in Fairbanks, it's won two national awards, and has gotten nearly every 4th grade boy in the public school system eager to see the next Guys Read featured book. And it's done entirely with private donations and volunteers.
The commitment is for at least one lunch-hour during the course of the 3-week program. Many men choose to read more often, especially after experiencing the kick that comes from turning a bunch of boys onto reading for fun.
Two-man teams visit each elementary twice each week to read heavily illustrated books to the 4th grade boys for about 20 minutes of their 30 minute lunch period. Times vary according to the school's schedules.
We ask that you read over the books, out loud, several times before going to your assigned school about 15 minutes before their lunch period. Check in as a volunteer at the main desk, and go to the library, classroom, or other site for the reading. There you will usually find the projector and document camera set up.
One of the volunteers positions the pages under the document camera while the other reads what's being shown on the screen while showing where he's reading with a laser pointer.
The pointer, a copy of the book, and bookmarks featuring that day's book will all be in a black Guys Read box that will be with the projector/doc camera set up, or at the school library.
We read in each book for only 20 minutes. Next reading will feature a different book. But we donate 3 copies of each title to the school library.
On Saturday, Jan. 31, we ask the volunteers who can to help with the Guys Read parties the boys are invited to attend at Noel Wien Library. One party starts at 11 and the other at 1:30. We'll have Guys Games, Guy Grub, and one of the all-time favorite authors will Skype in to read some of his latest work.
Afterwards, 500 4th grade boys will experience the pleasure reading can bring, and several dozen families will have new public library cards.
There's more information at the Guys Read website, guysgalsread.org. Thanks for any help you can provide."
Two of the graphic novels we are showcasing this session is "Sidekicks" by Dan Santat and "Bad Island" by Doug TenNaple. Lots of way cool sound effects to holler out loud, which is a bonus in a library.
Here's some more info on the program, and if you're in this neck of the woods please feel free to stop by and check out this awesome opportunity - volunteer readers are always really appreciated.