“My platform is "First Book: Access to New Books for Children in Need." First Book is a national literacy campaign that provides books to the most in-need school districts across the United States.
On the national level, I collect monetary donations for First Book through a "virtual book drive" on their website. This tool makes it very easy for people to donate online or by sending a check that I can then mail in. On a local level, in the Jackson, Madison, and Oxford areas, I read to grade-school students and encourage them to build good reading habits. “
“I chose First Book as my platform because I want children to have the opportunity to fall in love with stories and characters like I did. Likewise, I believe my reading foundation has helped me succeed at the University of Mississippi. Being a Political Science major, we read A LOT. I know that it is from my background that I have the desire and dedication to finish every reading assignment, understand the vocabulary, and comprehend the material. I really credit my academic achievements and career ambitions to my love of reading and the benefits I have received from it.
More importantly, this concept applies to young students. We must give them the tools to succeed in order for them to prosper. Because education ultimately unlocks opportunity, it is critical that children learn to read and develop strong reading habits that will allow them to succeed later in life.”
“I have read in 14 schools and to 38 classrooms full of bright and excited students… roughly 760 children within 4 months! I was invited to read at Madison Avenue Lower Elementary on National Read Across America Day, which is Dr. Seuss' birthday, to 3rd grade students all sporting their best Dr. Seuss costumes…I really enjoy reading to students of all ages and watching their eyes light up as I turn the page - this is probably one of the highlights of my job!”
“What I've found from reading to a diverse group of students this year is that even children have a preference. I think the easiest way for parents, teachers, or mentors to get children interested in reading is to cater to their likes and interests. When children are interested in the subject matter of the book, whether it is silly or educational, the desire to find out "what happens next" is almost impossible to resist. With all of the technological distractions that target younger generations, reading may not always be the most appealing option. Reading, however, offers a unique experience to children; it gives them the opportunity to imagine, explore, and create.”