Read Aloud West Virginia is lining up readers for new school year

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some willing readers are needed.

Read Aloud West Virginia, a nonprofit organization working to change the state’s literary culture, is currently recruiting volunteers to regularly read to the Mountain State’s students.

“We have about 205 schools around the state enrolled in our program which means that a volunteer from their community has gone through our orientation and believes in reading aloud to kids,” said Dawn Miller, operations manager for Read Aloud West Virginia.

“They are very reliable and they show up every week and they read to kids — just for fun — and they model that behavior and get the children excited about reading and about books.”

This week, two orientations for potential new readers with Read Aloud West Virginia are on the schedule:

Wednesday, Aug. 7
Charleston, W.Va.
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Read Aloud West Virginia State Office
1700 MacCorkle Avenue SE, Charleston

Thursday, Aug. 8
Beckley, W.Va.
4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
United Bank of Beckley
129 Main Street, Beckley

“The beginning of the school year’s the perfect time (for orientation) because then it gets everybody ready so, when the teacher says, ‘Ok, we’ve gotten our routines down and we’re ready for our reader,’ the reader can just step in to that weekly routine,” Miller said.

Schools open to public school students in Kanawha County to start the new year on Monday, Aug. 12.

Wednesday, Aug. 14, is the first day in Raleigh County.

Volunteers are asked to commit to reading for a year, if possible.

“Kids seeing you do it — day in, day out, week in, week out — shows that it’s important and, more importantly, shows them that reading is enjoyable,” Miller said.

Prior to going to work for Read Aloud, Miller was a volunteer reader for 27 years.

“It’s having an effect and having it in a fun way that keeps me coming back,” said Miller.

More information is available at www.readaloudwv.org.

Those planning to attend this week’s orientations were asked to register by sending an email to Marsha Hoyer at [email protected]