Children receive the gift of reading

Published 9:27 pm Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kavan Kimbrough thanks Santa for the book and tells him his Christmas wish list Saturday at the Reading Is Fundamental Breakfast with Santa at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center. -- Robert Hudson

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal


At Saturday’s Reading Is Fundamental Breakfast, children in attendance were not only granted the joy of seeing Santa Claus, they were also given the gift of knowledge.

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and the Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha organized the Saturday event, held at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

Children were treated to stories told by Sister Yomi “That Story Lady” Goodall, Selma Mayor George Evans and Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard before receiving books as a special gift to them.

“Children ages Pre-K from the little babies all the way up to high school were able to get RIF books to read during the holidays,” RIF coordinator Nancy G. Sewell said. “This is our way of saying that you may get your toys, but the most important gift you can get is the gift of knowledge, a book to read, because reading is the key to open all the doors to success.”

Those in attendance were also treated to breakfast and Christmas carols from the Junior & Senior Culturama.

Santa Claus also made an appearance to listen to the Christmas wishes of the children.

Sewell said a group effort made the event a success.

“It’s a collaborative effort between the Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the county commissioners and the city of Selma,” Sewell said. “It’s wonderful. We had a packed house.”

RIF was started in Selma in 1993 and gives out books in this manner at least three times a year.

RIF co-chairman Jacinta Thrash Bright said it’s great to be able to put on such an event for the children of the area because it helps them obtain the reading skills that are crucial to being successful in life.

“It’s wonderful because, as an educator, I’ve always been an advocate for children reading,” Bright said. “Reading is very important because it’s a foundation for anything that they’re going to do in life. Without reading, basically, they can’t do anything. It’s kind of like when you may be talking to someone who doesn’t speak your language and you feel like you can’t understand something. If a child is not able to read, that’s the way they would feel in whatever situation they may be in.”

Sewell said the knowledge children can obtain from reading is one of the greatest gifts they could ever receive.

“I think that’s the greatest gift we can give a child is the joy of reading,” Sewell said. “Hopefully, that child will then become passionate about reading because it opens so many doors.”