Alamance Reads Jr.

The idea for Alamance Reads Jr. in 2015 was simple: Take the Alamance Reads community reading program and expand it so children could participate. Impact Alamance’s support and a network of school librarians helped make the program a home run.

After more than a decade of promoting community reading programs to adults, Alamance Reads decided to encourage children to read and discuss Sue Corbett’s “Free Baseball.” 

A $7,000 grant enabled the program to scale up its ambitions considerably, says Alamance Reads Co-chair Michelle Mills, expanding it beyond a library-based program.

The grant paid for hundreds of copies of the book, including 20 for each elementary school in the county, 50 for Alamance County Public Libraries, and additional copies to various agencies serving elementary school children. The book was even used by an adult literacy class at Alamance Community College.

The grant also paid for Corbett, the author, to visit South Mebane Elementary School, where she gave a presentation and answered student questions. The presentation was recorded and shared with other elementary schools in the county.

Mills says that efforts to encourage reading among children, like Alamance Reads Jr., can have a major impact.

Reading is essential to academic success, which is then essential to income stability when they get older,” she says. “If some of these children will stick to reading, that’s where we’ll see the results.”
— Michelle Mills, Alamance Reads Co-chair