More than 200 men fanned out across Atlanta this morning to participate in the inaugural reading day of the R.E.A.L. Men Read initiative. This six-month program is part of Atlanta Public Schools’ overall effort to foster the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” by the time students complete third grade. Studies show that knowing how to read early in a child’s education is an important element in their continued educational development. (Check out previous coverage here.)
The male volunteers represent various occupations. They are all reading the same designated picture book to second-grade students in hundreds of classrooms throughout the district today. As part of the program, the students will receive copies of the book to keep and add to their home libraries. This reading initiative continues on a monthly basis throughout the school year. Volunteers began with the first selection, “Not Norman,” written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
We received this report from West Manor Elementary Media Specialist Sheila Williams:
West Manor Elementary School celebrated the district wide reading initiative, R. E. A. L. Men Read this morning with 100 percent of its classrooms enjoying a visit from guest male readers. The official second-grade reading mentors for West Manor are Micheal Green, Thomas Scott and Van Twyman.
West Manor Principal Cheryl Twyman decided to make the district-wide initiative a school-wide reading adventure. The students truly enjoyed seeing their fathers, uncles, dads, grandfathers come into their classroom and read and share time with them. In addition, to the three official school mentors, West Manor enjoyed visits from 17 other dedicated male role models.
This endeavor was a huge success that the students really enjoyed. The readers admitted to having a great time, too.