Learning to love reading

10:30 am

It’s 10:30 a.m. when the door opens to Charla Cummings’ kindergarten classroom at Brush Creek Elementary School in Jennings County. The children’s eyes light up, smiles crossing their faces.

It’s reading day — one of their favorites, as visitors to the classroom bring books and stories to share.

Reading Made Fun makes these books and read-aloud days possible. From January to May, Atina Rozhon at Purdue Extension – Jennings County organizes volunteers who come to the classroom each month. Readers break the class up into small groups. The children cuddle up on the floor with blankets while the guest reads aloud, engaging the children with questions, dialogue and activities.

A copy of the book to keep goes home with each child.

Brush Creek is a Title 1 school, with a high number of students considered low-income. “They just haven’t had the opportunities that other children have to have books read to them and have books in their hands,” Cummings says.

The program, funded by grants and donations, quickly spread from Brush Creek Elementary School to all seven elementary schools in Jennings County.

So far, over 12,000 books have been given to 2,450 young readers. For children who have never had the chance to take a book home — one they can truly call their own — the opportunity can be life-changing. The books can be used for school work and can be read repeatedly at home.

But most importantly, Reading Made Fun helps children develop a love of reading — which will stay with them the rest of their lives.

books were given to 2,450 Jennings County children.