Reading is essential

Rotarians Bill Edwards, Dave Dubreuil, Robyn Penn Delaney and DeRon Talley present books to the Donaldsonville Primary School students and principal Mary McMahan and Assistant Principal Dr. Tenneil Lange.

Reading to a child is one of the most important things a community can do to help develop its learning skills. The sooner the reading begins, the better the results. In knowing that, the Donaldsonville Rotary Club donated over 1,000 reading books to the Donaldsonville Primary School in hopes to develop students’ reading abilities.

Rotarian Bill Edwards said the contribution from Rotary Club is happy is just the beginning of more to come.

“We’re glad to play a very small part in providing reading materials to the youngsters at Donaldsonville Primary,” Edwards said.

Edwards said the club plans to get more books but also, wants to sponsor a reading a Dolly Parton reading program.

The Dolly Program is called, “Imagination Library” where parents can sign up their children at age one week and the child will be sent a book once a month until it reaches age five and the Rotary club plans to “subsidize the cost of that with the hope and expectation the parents or relatives will read to the child as it grows.”

The books the club donated last week are small and are about a variety of topics that Principal Mary McMahan said the students are learning in class now.

McMahan said the school plans to do more reading programs for the students and parents and that the school is so grateful for the club’s donation.

“Every time I ask the community for anything they always come through more than what I thought they would,” McMahan said. “I asked for used books, gently used books, but the Rotary went and bought us brand new books and they are books that have text features, glossaries, non-fiction and things that they’re learning about here in school.”

McMahan said when she saw the students talking to the Rotarians who were showing them the vocabulary words in the back of the books, she heard one of the students say “that’s where it tells you what the words mean.”

“It’s important that they know the community is thinking about them and care about them and they want them to have books and things at home,” McMahan said.

McMahan said she was “touched” when she saw the kids opening the books and then realizing Rotary was responsible for giving them. When the children asked if they could keep them and was told yes, they started hugging the Rotarians.

 “Our kids love books,” McMahan said. “We’re trying to find ways to motivate them to read.”

McMahan said the school has a reward program for those with good behavior and usually the students get candy and chips. Now, McMahan said the school could give books.

“I thought why don’t we give them books. They like books,” McMahan said. “They can take books home so we’ll definitely be putting them in our rewards store.”

McMahan added, “They are always welcome to come and volunteer anytime they want to. We are here Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.”