Reading is Fundamental to hand out books

Published 8:01 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

Reading is Fundamental will set out again this summer to provide books to the children in our area.

They will have a kickoff event on June 19 at the Carl Morgan Convention Center from 10-12 p.m.

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RIF Coordinator, Nancy Sewell, and her volunteers are gearing up to deliver books to seven different locations.

She and the Zeta Eta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) have partnered to reach as many children as possible.

“I’m very excited for my sorority AKA, this is one of their service projects to give back to the community,” she said.

Sewell said that she is inspired by the chapter’s president, Mrs. Elizabeth Rutledge, for her dedication to the cause.

“She truly promotes reading,” she explained.

Each day they will travel to a nutritional feeding site, where children receive free lunches, and they will give away books along with the lunches.

“Alpha Kappa Alpha’s approach is that the free lunch that they get only feeds their physical hunger, and we will take them books so that they can read and feed their minds,” Sewell said.

The schedule is as following: Tuesday, June 20 at 11 a.m. at Rangedale Neighborhood Center, Wednesday, June 21 at 3:30 p.m. at the YMCA, Thursday, June 22 at 11 a.m. at the PAL Center, Friday, June 23 at 11 a.m. at Felix Heights Nutritional Center, Monday, June 26 at 11 a.m. at Clark Elementary School, Tuesday, June 27 at 11 a.m. at the East Selma Nutritional Feeding Center, and lastly, Wednesday, June 28 at 11 a.m. at Valley Creek Nutritional Feeding Center.

The program has been very successful in promoting reading to children in Selma in the past.

The program was started in Selma first in 1977 but took a break not long after. It restarted in 1993, and it has been going strong ever since.

“We were looking at the reading and test scores, and this is a means of boosting their scores through reading.”

RIF works to provide books to children who may not be able to get them but who have a passion for reading.

“Our program allows children to select books that will become their very own, that they can read during the summer,” she said.

The program will give out roughly 2,000 books this summer in Selma alone.

Sewell said that her own children are proof that RIF promotes reading for a lifetime.

“My daughter, congresswoman Terri Sewell, will gladly tell you she was a RIF baby, and it has been RIF that has motivated her and stimulated her reading and my sons too,” she said.

“They went on to excel in school and college.”

The theme this year is “Don’t Clown Around With Books — Read, Read, Read,” and it promotes the thought that reading is fun.

RIF will help students by giving them the opportunity to read throughout the summer.

“We don’t want the children to lose their edge in school and to stay mentally alert,” Sewell said.

Sewell explained that books will allow the children to explore new horizons, expand their knowledge, to travel mentally and to explore many more ideas.

For more information, call Nancy Sewell at (334) 875-2481.