Donaldsonville Rotary sponsors youth reading program

DERON TALLEY @DeRonTalley
Rotarians Bill Edwards, Dave Dubreuil and Robyn Penn Delaney discuss the reading program for the youth.

The Donaldsonville Rotary Club has adopted the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library reading program that provides books to young children. Every month an appropriate, carefully selected book is mailed to each child enrolled in the program for free as a courtesy of the Donaldsonville Rotary Club.

“Rotary hopes the books will be read to the children and receive them on a regular basis by someone in the household,” Rotarian Bill Edwards said, who chaired the initiative. “It is both beneficial and important for the child. It is now known that reading to young children is one of the most beneficial things that can be done to aid their mental development. It significantly helps in developing their brains and brain functions. No child is too young to benefit from being read to, even newborns. Newborns can benefit from being read to on a daily basis and can be enrolled in this program.”

The Rotary Club is covering the annual cost of providing the books to children living in Ascension Parish west of the river. Each club member is sponsoring at least one child at $25 each.

Already, approximately 100 children have been enrolled. Additional children are being added to a waiting list while the Rotary Club coordinates getting additional funding from interested businesses and individuals. Any individual or business willing to support the program can contact any Rotarian. Anyone interested in enrolling a child in the program can complete an enrollment form and return it to a Rotarian.

“This project is indeed a win-win undertaking,” Edwards said. “Enrolled children receive book which if read to them aid to their mental development. They receive books at no cost to them or their family member. They are mailed to their homes and the books are theirs to keep. After having the books read to them, they will be better equipped when they start school. They will have better vocabularies and better mental capacity.”

All is needed to enroll is a child’s name, date of birth, sex, mailing address, parent guardian and books will arrive within about 60 days.

The Donaldsonville Rotary Club meets on every Thursday at Café Lafourche at 12 p.m.