Last night was one of those nights when I'm super happy to be living in a real neighborhood. I went to take the trash out and it took me an hour, because my neighbor on the left side was talking to her neighbors on her left side, and then I joined the conversation.
We talked about everything neighbors talk about-- the wacky transformer that cuts power to half our houses (not that half the people on the block don't have power, but everyone on the block only has power in half their house. I am not making this up.) our gardens, the weather, commutes, people who keep parking in our driveways, and who's moved out and who's moved in.
The neighbors 2 doors down have kids who are finishing up their school year. Their oldest daughter just finished 6th grade (it's a 6-7-8 middle school) and is heartbroken because they've been told they won't be getting Reading is Fundamental next year due to budget issues. 5 times during the school year, the children in my neighborhood got to pick out free books to keep. This is a 12 year old girl who loves to read right at the age when we start to lose our heavy readers to other things. She will no longer be getting her free books to help feed her habit.
This broke my heart, but was a timely story in that weird way that life seems to work.
Next weekend, I'm participating in Dewey's 24-Hour-Read-a-Thon, which benefits Reading is Fundamental. I am asking for your sponsorship.
After listening to this young woman's sadness at no longer having RIF in her school, it just strengthened my convictions in how important this is. So, THANK YOU to those who have already signed up to help.
This is an organization that should be expanding the number of children they serve, not having to cut schools out of their efforts.