Bring Books to the Border
October, 2010Going to McAllen for the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in November? If so, please bring books: new or gently used children's books in English or Spanish. The books will be used in 2011 in the Rio Grande Valley to support family reading fairs. Bring the books to the Literacy ConneXus booth in the exhibits hall at the McAllen Convention Center November 8-9.
Iglesia Bautista Principe de Pas (3212 Elmira, McAllen) will host a Family Reading Fair on Tuesday morning, November 9, at 9:00 a.m. You are invited to participate in this activity.
Family Reading Fairs demonstrate the various components of family literacy. Parents are encouraged and equipped to read to their children. Each family receives a small wooden bookcase with a bag full of books. Event sponsors model reading to children as the focal event. Refreshments and fun activities including decorating the bookcases contribute to a festive environment.
In a recent study of 2,350 children in Los Angeles, California, ages 3 to 17, the mother's reading skill was found to be the greatest determinant of her children's future academic success (Honey Berk). Books for the Border does not purport to fix reading deficits of mothers in particular and parents and other adult caregivers in general. However, the intervention of positive resources in the family's environment motivates parents to read. Parents and children observe adults reading to children. Families leave with the resources for reading to their children. Links to local literacy providers establish a next step for improving the reading ability of the parents.
McAllen, Texas, is located in Hidalgo County - one of seven counties in Texas and twenty in the United States identified by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as those with the highest levels of rural poverty (see www.ruralpoverty.net). Other Texas counties include Dimmit, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Willacy and Zavala. Literacy ConneXus links congregations with opportunities in these and other counties to provide a meaningful intervention in the lives of families living in rural poverty through reading fairs.
For more information about Books for the Border, contact Lester Meriwether at Literacy ConneXus (817-696-9898 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 817-696-9898 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Lester@literacyconnexus.org).
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