By Danielle Wright, Engagement Center Associate, United Way of Greater Cleveland
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”
— Dr. Seuss
I’m a bit of an education nut. There are times I think I should have been an elementary school teacher, and other times I dream of creating programs that enhance our educational system. Education has always been very important in my family. I remember my brother’s first day of school I stood at the bus stop and cried because I wanted to go to school as well. I was inconsolable, not understanding why, at three years old, I was not allowed to go to school.
I also have vivid childhood memories of reading to my parents and whoever else would come to our house. Whenever my parents had company, I would grab my Bible and other books and hop on someone’s lap and read to them. I recall the excitement of reading and the conversations that followed; conversations that sparked my imagination and took me to a land filled with plot twists and new endings to my favorite stories. Reading was a deeply integral part of my life. By second grade, I was reading at a ninth-grade level. I never thought much of my reading ability; I just loved to read.
It is easy to take for granted the things we have access to. A child who does not have access to books might not experience the beauty of getting lost in the plot or laughing hysterically at the story. In low-income neighborhoods there is only one book per every 300 children; in middle-income neighborhoods, there are 13 books per one child. The numbers are staggering, but with your help, we can truly ignite a child’s love for reading.
The United Way of Greater Cleveland Engagement Center is searching for Community Heroes to donate $5 to provide a book to a child as part of its Day of Action. Inspire Their Next Adventure is a Stuff the Bus with Books digital campaign with the goal of utilizing your donations to provide Cleveland-area school children with books to explore, treasure and share. Through your kind donation, you will inspire a child’s next great adventure and help prevent summer learning loss.
As time went on, my love for reading developed into a passion for creative writing, crafting poems and short stories in my free time. Reading and writing were therapeutic for me. If there was ever anything bothering me, I would grab a book, pen and paper and get lost in my own creativity. In junior high and high school, my passion helped me with critical thinking, research and analytical writing. I am grateful I had people in my life who encouraged me to read and be imaginative. Every child deserves the opportunity to dive into a good book or story and allow their imagination to take them to places they never knew existed. Unfortunately, not every child receives the tools they need. You can help to change that.
Become a Community Hero and inspire a child’s next adventure, please consider making a donation. Your name will appear in the book and forever be connected to changing a child’s life.