read Wayne

Wayne READasauras interacts with a child at a recent READ Wayne event. READasauras encourages children to read as much as they can.

Reading helps ensure young children today will become productive adults.

That’s what READ Wayne does.

Funding comes partly from United Way of Wayne County and also from a collaboration of program partners, said Jane Gable, project manager.

She said READ Wayne is a “communitywide school readiness initiative joining partners, educators and families to ensure that all Wayne County children are reading on grade level by the end of the third grade.

“The third grade is the turning point. Up to third grade, children are learning to read. By the end of third grade, they would be reading proficiently. After third grade, they are reading to learn.”

READ Wayne is a collaborative effort of various community partners to improve access to literacy resources and opportunities for all Wayne County children. Its members want to make sure that children become ready for school.

“READ Wayne is an umbrella,” Gable said. “Our partner programs come under READ Wayne, such as Partnership for Children, Dolly Parton Imagination Station, Wayne County Library Raising a Reader, Goldsboro Pediatrics Reach Out and Read and many more.”

READ Wayne is also doing projects in the community to promote early learning and reading. For example, there are boxes at some businesses that contain books for children and their families to read while waiting for services, such as Pizza Inn and Brew Masters.

The group also did a lot of summer learning activities with various community partners to promote summer learning so children didn’t have that summer slide.

READ Wayne is also a member of the North Carolina Campaign for Grade Level Reading, a statewide initiative to promote reading within Wayne County.

“It’s important to have READ Wayne to pull the community together on the importance of reading and get the message to families that beginning at birth, it’s never tool early to begin reading to a baby,” Gable said. “That’s a prerequisite skill that children need to read. We also want to get the message out to the community to support families to becoming lifelong readers.

“Children that go along this journey will become productive members of a workforce. That’s the bottom line. Research shows that in the year 2020, 67 percent of jobs will require degrees and training beyond high school.”