Read Dream Succeed™ Week is this May 24th-29th, 2021! Why create RDS week you say? Simple: we need to encourage summer reading for California's students while encouraging them to dream big.
I started out as a kid reading books on Presidents and dreaming of being the first female President of the United States. Is it an absolutely crazy dream? YUP! Will Kamala Harris probably beat me to the goal? Most likely! But it's absolutely worth encouraging that dream. Whether it's President, a future teacher, a WNBA player, or the scientist who will finally map all of the human genome, today's kids will be the future's leaders. No child should ever be told their dreams are too big or laughed at for dreaming about them. Instead, let's provide our students with the tools and skills they need to succeed.
Literacy is the single-biggest skill you can give a child. California is the fifth largest economy in the world and we spend the least on public education. 774 million people in the world cannot read this sentence. Two thirds of them are women. In California, we determine our prison funding by looking at third grade reading levels and projecting out 20 years. My generation has grown up knowing that reading is important, but still we are not solving this fundamental lack of literacy among America's students.
Next week I'll be visiting with preschool students who attend schools operated by San Joaquin County's Child Abuse Prevention Council, chatting via zoom with students who have just graduated high school and are entering the workforce, and speaking with various librarians on their work. But perhaps most importantly, my initiative Read Dream Succeed™ is giving away around 700 books to students in need!
You can get involved by signing up to volunteer for your local library's summer reading program, or reach out to me to find out how to donate books to programs in need. In the fall, we will also need more tutors (virtual and in-person) through Reading Partners. But whether you are a child of 5 or 95, please, read a book this week.
Follow my social media on Instagram @misssanjoaquincountyca and on Facebook at @MissSanJoaquin to learn more facts, resources, and personal stories. Get involved on social media and share a post of video next week about how literacy has helped you achieve some goal and the impact that has had on your life. Tag me and use the hashtag #ReadDreamSucceed to get featured!