• 73°

Reading is Fundamental distributes books

Nancy Sewell talks about reading and its value at Monday's RIF event.--Courtesy photo

Traveling to outer space, back in time or to a magical land happens as quickly as the flip of a page.

Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Zeta Eta Omega Chapter want children to travel farther than their imaginations, all by creating a love of reading.

“You can travel and go everywhere without leaving your home, especially if you are not of the means to do so,” said Juanda Maxwell, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Zeta Eta Omega Chapter.

Children from the community gathered at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center for the annual Reading is Fundamental, RIF, event, patiently awaiting the rewards at the end of the event — free books.

“When the program was over and it was time for the books to be given, we were just inundated,” Maxwell said. “There were so many kids up there, it was just amazing.”

AKA members bought more than 400 books to pass out to the 275 children in attendance. Funding for books comes from donations to the sorority throughout the year.

Keynote speaker Terri Sewell,  Democratic nominee for the 7th District Congressional seat, and AKA member, shared stories of her passion for reading with the children.

“I believe that if your mind can conceive it, you can achieve it,” Sewell said.

The lessons of persistence and ambition Sewell learned from her favorite book, “The Little Engine That Could.”

Reading also increased her vocabulary.

“I learned vocabulary because every time I would come across a word I didn’t understand, [my mom] would make me look in the dictionary,” Sewell said.

Sewell attended RIF events as a child and now attends as an AKA volunteer whenever she gets the chance.

“Having programs like this is a prime example of how the children in Selma and Dallas County benefit from such wonderful service projects,” Sewell said.

Reading is Fun began in 1996 and occurs four times each year.