I've always loved books. As a very small child I was lucky. My mother read to me from the time I was born. By the time I was heading to 1st grade all I wanted to learn to do is read. My maternal grandmother had fallen during the summer before I was to start school and my mother and her sister had brought all us kids together while they dealt with her illness. The fall was so serious that the doctors said she'd never walk again, mainly because her vertebrae had collapsed. We were still in WV when it was time for school to start so they took myself and my aunt's three sons to enroll us in school. Her youngest and I are only months apart in age, but his birthday fell a few days beyond the accpetable start date and unfortunately they wouldn't make an exception. I wasn't too happy, it was like breaking apart twins. So on the first day of school I cried the entire way on the bus. My other cousins promised that if I'd stop crying they'd do anything. All I wanted to do is learn to read, if I couldn't be with Steven. No problem, I'd learn if only I'd go to school. Unfortunately I thought they'd teach me that day and when that didn't happen I was angry. So angry that I decided never to go back and explained it all to the very same cousins on the ride back home that afternoon. They figured they would be blamed. Apparently I went through the front door, saw my mother, said, "I quit. I'm not going back. They didn't teach me to read. They didn't even give me a book. I quit." (You have to imagine this with a trace of an English accent as we'd only been back in the US from England for a little over a year.) My mother didn't say anything other then turn to her sister and say, "You handle this one." My aunt, ever the pragmatist, sat me down and figured out what was going on. Explained the teacher couldn't plug me into a cassette recorder (I'm showing my age) and teach me to read. I'd have to go back. My next line of defence was the no book part. She promised that if I'd go back I'd get a book the next day. As I found out later, she told the teacher that if they didn't have a book to give me, she'd go buy one at the 5 and dime and bring it for her to give me, but I had to have a book to carry home and to school or there would be no way to get me to come back. Thankfully the teacher had sometime and understood. Thankfully I had a grandmother, aunt and parents who would, and could, get me a book. Not all children are so lucky.

So, how important is a book?Important enough for you to take a few minutes and send a note to the President, VP, your Senators and Congressmen or women? Most of you know me and know that I'm not one to deal with politics on this blog, it's just not what this blog is about, but this isn't politics in my book, this is about the future of children. I believe that more children are encouraged to read by receiving a book of their own then any classroom or library full of books. There's something about having a book of your own, especially as a child. For many years RIF (Reading is Fundamental) has provided a free book to children who are at the lowest income levels in our nation. The proposed 2009 federal budget eliminates the RIF book distribution program. That means that 16 million books would not be given to children in this country who are at the most risk to never learn to read. I am the first to believe that there are many places our federal budget could and should be cut, but for me, this isn't one of those places. If you feel the same way, please go here to send a message asking that this program be placed back into the budget. If you're a US citizen, a reader and have a love for books, please think about how this could adversely affect the young children of our country who may never be able to afford a book of their own without this program.

You can also find other ways to help this great organization on the same website. They, like most every non-profit organization in the world, can always use volunteers. Maybe you've been looking for a way to give back to your community and maybe this could be it.

I'll return to stitching and knitting tomorrow. I hope to have something to show if I get to attend Sampler Guild tomorrow.
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2 Responses
  1. Heather Says:

    I can just see you standing with your tiny fists on your hips and stating that you quit!! That is a great story! No wonder we're friends!!

  2. Kathe Says:

    Squirrelly thing to dump from the budget. I know it's like comparing apples to oranges...but it brings to mind a certain $12,000 door.

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