To be honest… I didn’t think sharing some personal stories about how important reading has been in my life would be that interesting. Then there was dead silence. One of the stories I told was about my mom Chin. I talked about how she struggled with the language barrier but insisted on reading to me when I was a child. I don’t remember the words she didn’t know or sometimes skipped. I never cared that some sentences were incomplete or didn’t make sense at all. All I remember is that it was me and her. She surrounded us with books. When she opened them with her broken English she still read them like she wrote them.
The reality is that experience is a luxury. Two thirds of children living in poverty in our Country.. in the USA have NO books. For the last half century Reading is Fundamental has worked to change that. Giving more than 412 million books to tens of millions of children nationwide. After tonight, many more kids will be introduced to the magic of reading. What will they feel? Hope, happiness, liberation, adventure? You better believe a book can change someone’s life. Books have power.
I was thrilled to meet many of the more than 400 literacy lovers who gathered at the Four Seasons in Georgetown to celebrate RIF’s 50th Anniversary. I had the true honor of emceeing the Eric Carle themed birthday bash. Even the VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR showed up. Word has it …he came for the food!
It was great to meet Margy McNamara Pastor, the daughter of RIF’s founder. Scholastic’s President Dick Robinson also shared some really funny and historic anecdotes from the beginning of RIF.Dick’s father founded Scholastic and teamed up with RIF from the beginning. Also spotted in the crowd, Author Kitty Kelley. The best part… the night raised more than $150,000 dollars just in the live auction alone!