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Reading is Fundamental program makes stop at YMCA

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority hosted its Reading Is Fundamental event on Wednesday at the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County. Their theme being, “Don’t Clown Around With Books – Read, Read, Read.”

RIF is an annual, summer event that the AKA’s Zeta Eta Omega Chapter in Selma hosts where they read stories to children and distribute free books for them to keep. To correspond with this year’s theme, AKA also had volunteer clowns perform to humorously entertain the children.

YMCA of Selma-Dallas County CEO and AKA member Wanda Maxwell said she, along with the other members of AKA are happy that Nancy Sewell, RIF Coordinator, organizes the selfless event.

“We’re very, very happy that Ms. Sewell has always, through the years, gives out free books to the children that we entertain in our summer program,” Maxwell said. “We’re always happy to entertain.”

According to Sandra Williams, another member of AKA, the sorority’s goal is to emphasize the value of reading and the effects it has on a child’s imagination, intelligence and future.

“The reason we do this program is because we want to expose as many children as we can to the fundamentals of reading,” Williams said. “Reading is very important and it will take you to a whole different world that you have never experienced or been to before. Reading helps you become successful.”

The AKAs sorority travels to various locations and usually distributes over 800 books to different children, Williams said.

“We want every child to have a book to read, so that they can share those books,” Williams said.

“We emphasize how important it is to read. I think that is a great thing for our chapter, this is, to me, one of the greatest programs we do during the summer,” AKA member Anne Williams said.

Brenda Obomanu, who is a member of the Selma City School Board and AKA, said that the school system is also constantly trying to improve its focus on reading.

“One of the things we’re trying to work on in the system is improving reading, what we’re doing is making sure our children read, read, read this summer,” Obomanu said. “Don’t take a break, you have to constantly read in order to make improvements.”

The sorority not only wishes for reading to be heavily focused on during the summer, but also for it to be concentrated on yearlong. They hope that they left a lifelong impression on the children they read and gave books to.

“This is all about helping the community, because we’re all responsible for each other. This is just a wonderful occasion; reading is fun,” YMCA of Selma-Dallas County associate director Denisha Hendricks said.