The Happily Ever After Project is an initiative of the Washington County Youth Foundation. The 2010-2011 officers of the Youth Foundation decided to address a complex issue that affects our entire community– Early Literacy. According to Rachel Dalton, 2010-2011 Washington County Youth Foundation President, “This is a critical issue in our community. Our Youth Foundation can work on this for years to come. We can help to make a difference.
The Youth Foundation is capitalizing on the fact that elementary students think high school students are cool and high school students can be the perfect role models to promote a lifelong love of reading.
School Based- Volunteer high school students visit second and third grade classrooms once a week and simply read to the students. Each book read has a lesson plan that focuses on a reading comprehension skill. Our belief is that if high school students model behavior that demonstrates that reading is “cool” then our elementary students will follow this example and buy into this belief. Elementary students are greatly influenced by high school role models.
Home Based- We are proud to say that we are sponsoring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Washington County. This is a FREE service to all Washington County residents under the age of five. In this program, children signed up will receive a free, age appropriate book, mailed to their home every month. A child who is signed up at birth will have a library of 60 books by the time they reach the age of five and are ready for Kindergarten.
As Aaron Johnson, 2010-2011 Vice President of the Washington County Youth Foundation, puts it, “We can’t make a difference overnight, but we can make a difference over time. If we can get more of our third graders reading at grade level, then more of the youth in Washington County will grow up to ‘Live Happily Ever After’”.
We rely on our donors to help us with these programs. Please consider sponsoring a child for one year. The cost of this is fifty cents a week…. Less than a cup of coffee or a trip to the soft drink machine. However, this small gift can have a huge impact on the life of a child. Please visit (https://www.wccf.biz/heap/ways-to-donate) to learn how you can get involved and give a child the gift of reading.