Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: June 17
Thursday Afternoon Visits: June 18

United We Serve and Summer Reading

Riflogo I was too tired when I learned about this last night to do anything more than re-tweet (see how I'm coming up the Twitter learning curve). But this deserves a full post of its own. Carol Rasco wrote last night about President Obama's UNITED WE SERVE, "a summer initiative encouraging all Americans to create meaningful change in their communities by engaging in service." You can watch the video announcement at Rasco from RIF. Carol explains:

"Reading with children is part of this initiative due to the serious loss in reading skills experienced by many children over the summer months.

United We Serve will kick off officially on June 22 at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service and will run through the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. All the tools for participating in this initiative can be found on The Corporation for National and Community Service’s website,

As a first step, you can show your commitment by reading with a child and logging your minutes at the ongoing 2009 Read with Kids Challenge. This Challenge continues through June 30 and the minutes logged June 22 through the 30th will be reported as part of the United We Serve campaign."

So there you have it. The President is calling upon you to read with children this summer. Are you up for the challenge? 

There's a whole Read with Kids Toolkit at the United We Serve website, "designed to either help you organize a group and be a positive addition to a community-based organization, or, if such an organization does not exist, to be a well-organized independently-run group that fills a needed gap in the community." At The Reading Tub, Terry Doherty suggests some ways to participate, from finding volunteer opportunities at the United We Serve website to registering for the Read with Kids Challenge to creating "an instant book club" or having a "reading playdate". Or you could:

  • Check out your library's summer reading program and storytimes.
  • Make sure there's a bookshelf up in the treehouse.
  • Suggest that the kids get together with friends and put on a play, based on a book. And read books like Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright, in which kids put on shows.
  • Have the kids run a lemonade stand or a carwash, and donate the proceeds to an organization like RIF or First Book or Reach Out and Read that puts books into the hands of children.

The opportunities are limitless! Happy reading, and happy summer!