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Reading program can improve test scores

It was more than distressing to read in this paper that 17-27 percent of third-graders in our area could not pass the state’s reading tests. It’s heartbreaking to know that all these students could have passed easily, according to educational research, by the simple, natural practice of being read to from birth to age 5 by their parents or other family members.

We are fortunate to have a free program in Lincoln County to address that specific need. Ferst Readers of Lincoln County is looking for kids and parents who do not have children’s books in their homes to read. If we can sign your child up, he can have a beautiful book shipped directly to your home, at absolutely no cost to you, every single month from infancy until his fifth birthday. That one thing will make the difference in his entire academic career. He will be ready for school when he’s 5, and he will pass that third-grade reading test. He will not drop out later because of not being able to read and feeling stupid and frustrated. He will be on grade level or above, simply from being exposed regularly to the magical world of books. Kids need books! Kids need parents who will read to them. Just 10 minutes a day can change their lives and future from sad and behind to ready-to-learn and smart.

If you or someone you know can’t get books for their little ones, please make a phone call and let us get you what you need. You can just ask for a registration form at the public library. It is free, and easy, and so rewarding to read to your children — and they will absolutely love it. Call us and we will get you started right now. We can make a huge difference for every child, and those reading scores will rise and rise until we are no longer at the bottom of the country’s education index and the state’s test scores. Don’t wait. We’re already behind.

Pam Womack, 601-320-4304

Katherine Bumgarner,

601-757-4822

ferstreaders.org