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READ: Read, Enjoy, And Discover

Have you ever been enraptured by a good book? The hours slide away as the story unfolds, and you can’t help but continue to turn the pages. This past sentence summarizes a countless portion of my youth. I would read during family meals, at school, and even when I had friends over: I was hooked. I would come home from a stressful schoolday (or even a good one) and almost immediately find my place on the couch with my book, my wonderful roundtrip ticket to Hogwarts, Middle Earth, or wherever else captured my fascination.

As I’ve grown, reading has evolved from being not only a wonderful source of solace and entertainment, but also a tool for education. I have developed a love for the accumulation of knowledge, and reading has enabled me to learn so much. From the side-effects of chemicals used by the food industry to the best method for aligning bicycle disk brake calipers, the ability to read has helped me learn so much. My passion for reading has finally gotten to the point that I feel compelled, even obligated, to share it with the world (or at least this island).

In early November of 2014, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar devoted to inspiring members of my generation to become agents of positive social change, to learn how to gain personal fulfillment through helping others. We were each tasked with creating a project: a way of helping to alleviate a problem we saw in the world. After some deliberation, the answer became clear: I would help the children of Vashon become more confident readers. And with this, READ was born.

READ stands for Read, Enjoy, And Discover. It is as much a mission statement as it is a title: the goal of this project is to help children foster the ability to be enthralled by a story, unable to pull their eyes from the pages, regardless of whether they’re reading The Magic Tree House or The Lord of the Rings. I believe that passion and curiosity are the gateways to learning, and it is through the development of these traits that I hope to cultivate children’s love for reading, and resultantly their future success in school.

To do this, I have partnered with the Vashon Youth & Family Services-owned Vashon Kids Summer Enrichment program to create a summer reading experience where elementary school kids can read with their peers and with teen reading coaches.

To gather books for this reading camp, I am organizing a book drive that will take place throughout the months of April and May. Look for a donation box in the VHS Library, Vashon Bookshop, and Bookman’s West (inside Minglement). Please donate those wonderful books you loved as a child, but are now merely collecting dust on your bookshelf. This will help ensure that there are a variety of reading materials to capture the interest of the kids.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read all this, and I fervently hope you’ll help me in this endeavor. If you wish to volunteer for the program, or simply want to learn more, feel free to find me on Facebook, call/text: (206) 747-3963, or email: