LEXINGTON, Ky --- A volunteer program called 'Real Men Read' is in its second year of providing mentorships to kindergartners and first graders in the Fayette County Public School System.
- Scholastic R.E.A.L. is a program devoted to giving school districts and community-based organizations the tools they need to recruit, encourage and equip mentors to inspire and build the literacy skills of students
- Some of the positive outcomes of the Real Men Read program are: Reading practice, motivation, and improvement, improved self-esteem, ongoing and consistent community engagement, relevant connections to the real world
- You can learn more about the program and request to volunteer here.
Once a monnth, Christian Adair and a group of male volunteers meet-up at elementary schools across the city of Lexington to help students focuses on reading, excelling, achieving and leading through positive reinforcement
"A group of community partners, a lot of them are dads, family members of this school, the coordinators went out and found some men to come read with the students. The books that they are going to be reading with the students are cultural responsive, they’re inclusive, look like the student population and they’re just going to come read and share their personal stories and bring in their careers and their skillsets,” says Adair
On this day, Christian and his fellow male counterparts visited Sandersville Elementary school. Each of the volunteers were assigned to different classrooms where they spent 30 minutes with kids between the ages of 5 and 7, reading books and sharing stories that not only celebrate diversity but also are meant to build strong values.
“The feedback from the kids has been great. I think it’s kind of fun for them to see someone besides their teacher come in the classroom, I think it’s also pretty cool for them to see men come into the classroom, nothing against women, but I think ya know, for many of the kids they don’t see dads and men in their classroom and i think that’s part of it as well. But, the response has been very good and they’re very excited when we walk in the door,” adds volunteer Steve Johnson
Not only do the kids listen to real men read…but, each month, they get to take home a copy of the book they read in the classroom with the intention to increase the childs’s love for reading, while also building home libraries.