by Alexia Bailey, Account Executive, Salsa
Because Salsa is about community, staff is actively encouraged to volunteer for causes that we feel passionate about. In that spirit, I regularly volunteer with an organization I have been supporting for several years, a local nonprofit called The Reading Connection, which is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading.
Everyone in my family is a big reader and I remember reading with my parents all the time growing up. I think one of the best things you can do for kids is to get them excited about reading – it spills over and helps them with learning about science and everything else. And what I love about working with TRC is that it’s one thing I do that I know for a fact makes a real difference to somebody.
On a recent Monday night, I joined two other volunteers to host a read-aloud for a group of children ages 3-6 at a community center in Fairfax County, Virginia. The read-aloud program typically consists of a combination of books and an activity that share a theme. That night, the theme was “popcorn.” First, we read three books about popcorn and where it comes from and how it pops. Then, we conducted an “experiment” by popping some corn in an air-popper to see how big a bowl we would need to hold the popcorn, and how many of the kernels would pop, and then we ate the results of the experiment with a little butter and salt, accompanied by lemonade. Best of all, each of the children got to pick out two new books to take home and add to his or her personal library.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, The Reading Connection is always looking for more volunteers to help them expand the number of children that can benefit from their programs. To find out more, visit them at www.thereadingconnection.org.