By Jacob Allen
The Williamston Post
The National Education Association’s March is Reading Month kicked off on March 1 followed by its annual Read Across America Day on March 2. This year’s theme is “Ohh the Places You’ll Go” based on a book by Dr. Seuss. Every year since March 2, 1998 the association has put on March is Reading Month with the hopes of building a nation of readers. This year the program has found support from multiple sources in Williamston.
“March is Reading Month is a good program. We like to help out where we can,” said Bruce Weber, store director of downtown Williamston’s D&W Fresh Market of two years. “We have a donation box so customers can donate books. It worked out good this year because we switched book companies, so we had books at the store for 50 percent off then, they went 75 percent off. Hopefully, the customers bought and donated some of those books.”
The donated books were collected by Williamston Middle School teacher Michelle Ellis and brought back to the school for use during March is Reading Month. According to Weber, customers of D&W Fresh Market responded well to the program. The store director noted the donation box filled up fairly quickly. Weber says the program is a win for customers and students alike.
“I am sure the kids love getting new books,” said Weber. “My daughter is in elementary school and new books are always something fun for her to get and read.”
March is Reading Month has also found support from the Williamston Library with many events planned. A few of the events being a celebration of Dr. Seuss on March 2, Harry Potter book club also on the second and preschool story time on March 4.
“March is Reading Month brings a lot of attention to books, especially in the schools,” said Jackie McDonald, a librarian for 18 years at the Williamston Library. “It really brings the attention to reading and how important it is, especially for kids.”
The library supports reading throughout the year with outreach programs and visits to schools that include the introduction of new books to students. According to Rebecca Langham, a librarian at the Williamston Library for 10 years, three to 10 school visits occur every month. Other Events beyond March include monthly book discussions, a Money Smart Week story time on April 22 and a senior book chat on May 12.
“Reading is important because it’s a life skill that allows people to have access to information. Should they run into any problems in their life they can come to the library or look online and read, for example, how do I do my taxes or how do I play guitar,” said Langham. “Being able to read and have access to information that you need just improves your life. It’s a skill everybody needs.”