Bright Young Minds

Books have always been a part of my life. When I was in the 10th grade I and a group of my friends started the TOK – Thieves of Knowledge Club. The premise to the name was that knowledge was so valuable we should hunger for it like thieves for treasure. Our group would read a book, take sections of it and reenact the story as the characters. Clearly we weren’t the ones dating the cheerleaders, but none the less we had a great time. As I have gotten older and much more consumed by daily life I find myself not reading nearly as much as I would like. When I do find the occasional moment my reading list consist of “Management Practices,” and “New Ideas for 501(c)3 Organizations.” Not exactly page turners.

Last week I was asked by the Cornelia Crenshaw Library to be a guest reader to a group of three and four year olds. I happily agreed. Many of these children will enter fist grade with very little exposure to books. As a board member of the Mid South Reads, an organization dedicated to creating a community of readers, I understand all to well the impact on children who are not frequently exposed to books. A report by the Department of Education found that pre-first graders who were read to three or more times a week were more likely to recognized all letters of the alphabet, be able to count to 20 or higher and were able to maintain concentration on a topic longer than those not read to.

It was a true delight reading to these eager young children. Their hunger for attention had them hanging on my every word. I plan to find more time in my schedule to be a reading volunteer.

If you are interested in volunteering to read, you can contact Inger Upchurch, manager of Cornelia Crenshaw Library and to find out more about Mid South Reads go to

Now get out there and change a child’s life.